Veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune's loyalty to Kaizer Chiefs will present challenges for him if he still has the desire to prolong his playing career.
Khune – who is on a contract expiring at the end of next season – has played just once this term, which was in the season opener against Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 during which he conceded twice.
Of the 11 games that Chiefs have played to date, Khune has also been on the bench once and not been in the matchday squad for the other nine demonstrating just how much his game-day input has dropped.
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Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has taken over the first-choice duties despite coming in last for his chance behind Khune, Bruce Bvuma and Brandon Peterson.
"In life, nothing is guaranteed but if we are looking at a normal curve in terms of a footballer’s career then this might be (then start of the route towards the end)," says former youth international keeper Gerald Wagner.
"His challenge there is that he has been so loyal to Kaizer Chiefs over the years, so he has now basically created a situation where he is not really willing to move to any other club at this point in time. If you fall out of favour and you are not making the matchday squad then you are going to be looking at other avenues. If he still wants to play, he will have to go to a lesser and still play like what Moeneeb (Josephs) did over the years. His loyalty towards Chiefs is what is presenting the challenge for him there.
"For someone who has been there and ridden the crest of the wave and the obviously the trajectory is downwards now. With having the kind of goalkeepers that they have there in Bvuma and Brandon plus another international the question for him (Khune) right now should be whether to hang my gloves and take the goalkeeper coach avenue.
"It is a good environment having these goalkeepers competing but from another perspective when you have all his competition the keepers become unsure of themselves because one week you are playing but then you are moved down the pecking order. So, where do you fit? A keeper is a specialist position unlike other positions," says Wagner.