Arendse justifies Khune selection

SA National Teams

Goalkeeper coach Andre Arendse has suggested the national team selectors had little choice but to call up Itumeleng Khune in the latest squad.

Arendse, who kept goal for Bafana Bafana during the country's only Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 1996 and played in two World Cups, is currently the goalkeeper coach for the national team and SuperSport United.

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In his last player selection for Bafana, head coach Molefi Ntseki roped in Kaizer Chiefs veteran Itumeleng Khune once again even though he is only freshly back from a long-term injury and lost his place to Daniel Akpeyi at Kaizer Chiefs.

"You know when you look at the last game... Itumeleng Khune, you've just got to look at his record, his experience, what he brings to any team. He is always a vital member to have in any team," Arendse tells KickOff.com.

"I understand it and I get it that he was injured and out of the squad for a long time. But you don't lose ability when you are not involved for a certain period of time. So the fact that he was drafted back into the squad is because of the experience that he has.

"But if you put that aside and look into goalkeeping in general in South Africa, we are experiencing a little bit of a problem in the sense that what we've got to do is look at the ratios of professional goalkeepers playing for their different clubs.

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"Now the ratio of foreign goalkeepers to local goalkeepers is bigger when you look at those playing for PSL clubs at the moment. So what that does, it brings restrictions in terms of how many are out there that you can look to choose from to come and be selected for the national team.

"So that is the problem, I understand that. You've got the likes of Ronwen Williams obviously who's now established himself as the number one in the absence of Itu Khune. You've also got your younger goalkeepers, Brandon Peterson is one of them, Ricardo Goss is another one at Wits.

"When you look further abroad you've got Darren Keet, also a top-class goalkeeper. But we need more coming through to be able to chose from, to be able to put pressure on the ones who are there at the moment.

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"So as much as there is a bit of a goalkeeping problem, it's not a crisis because we have got quality out there. It's a position where you can't mess around when it comes to quality. Next in line [for selection] obviously it must be consistency and also minutes in the bank for his club. So he must be playing regularly also.

"And then another aspect is experience because experience becomes a vital component when you are making a step up to the national team, because experience will tell you how to travel to countries and how to deal with situations in those countries. So those are very important factors we look for when we are selecting."

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