Downs GK: Don't repeat Khune mistake


Jody February has urged SAFA not to select an overage goalkeeper and crush another deserving player for the next Olympic Games.

Back in 2015 the former South Africa under-23 goalkeeper's heroics in the CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nations tournament helped South Africa qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

February made a number of stunning saves, including several penalties, to ensure Owen Da Gama's side beat Senegal 3-1 on penalties in the deciding match, yet Kaizer Chiefs number one Itumeleng Khune replaced him in Rio.

The Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper, who is currently on loan at GladAfrica Championship side Cape Umoya United, is hoping SAFA won't do the same thing to the current SA under-23 keepers next year.

READ: February breaks silence on Sundowns deal

"[Laughs] I felt gutted to be honest [when Khune was selected]," February admits to

"But I believe personally that God has a plan for everybody and maybe God just set it out that way. I was not going to be sulking and having an attitude because at the end of the day I still got the opportunity to go to the Olympics, and to experience everything there.

"But ja, it wasn't part of the plan for me, and I'm not one to throw my toys out of the cot. So it was just a good opportunity for me to be there. I can't really say much on that, the selection process... who knows, maybe this time it could be me going [laughs]!"

Last week South Africa snatched the last African spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a 6-5 penalty shootout win over Ghana in Egypt after goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto saved Emmanuel Cudjoe's penalty.

READ: SA U23 heading to the Olympics

"He [Mpoto] brought back good memories man. It was 2016 the last Olympics... so when he did that [saving a penalty] he brought back the memories," he continues.

"I hope the selectors don't do that again [select an overage player in front of them] to whoever is going now. I'm just hoping Darren [Johnson], Mondli and the other one from Richards Bay [Andile Mbanjwa]... three of them go. I think the three of them are more than capable to play at international level.

"I think they should just stick to what they have in the goalkeeping department. I mean even Darren played well, before Mondli played the three games Darren played three games and got three clean sheets and I see people already forgot about that. I think he is also one of the reasons why we got where we are... ja, I don't think they should include overage goalkeepers.

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"I'm really proud of the boys that they qualified, they've done the nation proud. It's the second time now in a row that we are qualifying. It shows they are a special bunch these players. Coach David [Notoane] is a very good coach, good technical team, everything. Now we can start looking forward to preparing for the Olympics, I mean it's once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone.

"Like I said it was a good period in my career and I'm very proud of everybody involved because I know most of the players playing. Now we have to look forward and the build-up for 2020 begins."