Chiefs facing GK conundrum?

Premiership

With Kaizer Chiefs having already used all four available goalkeepers to date, a big question remains regarding the first-choice starter.

Itumeleng Khune played in the first game of the season, the MTN8 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns, and has not been seen since conceding twice.

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Bruce Bvuma then played the first three league games conceding thrice before Brandon Petersen got his chance in the 4-1 humiliation by Royal AM and has been on the bench since then.

The last man on the queue was Daniel Akpeyi and he has stood up to the challenge conceding once in three games. 

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Though not popular Akpeyi has played the most football of all keepers at the club since he joined in January 2019.

"I don’t buy into this idea of rotating keepers because this is a different position to infield players. Rotation won’t work because it means your performance counts for nothing which then messes up with your confidence. Changes must come when there are injuries or suspensions.

"A goalkeeper needs to get into a relationship with his defenders so when you bring him in and then take him out how is he going to build on that. The one in-form must play. Rotation kills momentum, consistency and confidence," argues former Jomo Cosmos and Orlando Pirates keeper Avril Phali in a feature carried in the October edition of KICK OFF Magazine.

Yet for Aubrey Mathibe, who played once through the six years that he spent as a third-choice option at Chiefs he is supportive of the rotation system.

He believes that system can also work just like it did when Chiefs won the league in the 2003/04 season with Brian Baloyi and Rowen Fernandez playing 15 games each.

"Ted (Dumitru) did it when we won the league with Brian and Rowen, and it worked perfectly fine. What matters is creating an environment of happiness which comes with explaining to all keepers that they are all needed. I know from a distance it looks impossible that there will be no friction when you have four keepers but then trust me when the environment is good it doesn’t even matter who is playing.

"The vibe is always the same. As a coach, you are like a father, and you need to look out for all your kids just like Rainer (Dickelacker) used to do with us at Chiefs. For me, it is a good competition and I know some will play in the league and others in the cup. The keepers’ union vibe is important. In goalkeeping, the friendship is always so tight like that, and we love each other more than the rest of the players in the team," says Mathibe. 

"To read the full feature and other exciting interviews, buy the latest edition of KICK OFF Magazine on sale now."

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