The 34-year-old custodian is among five players who have extended their contracts with the Amakhosi ahead of the new season
Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has revealed the reason goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was handed a contract extension at the club.
Khune’s future at the Soweto-giants was in doubt until three days ago when he was handed a two-year deal with the club also extending the contracts of Khama Billiat, Lebogang Manyama, Bernard Parker, and Ramahler Mphahlele.
The 34-year-old is the longest-serving player in the current team as he has been a part of the senior team set-up since 2004 and according to Baxter, his contract extension was informed by his ‘enthusiasm’ when playing or not.
What has been said?
“Itu has had an absolutely amazing career so far…what he has shown is that if he is injured, he is still good to have around the place, if he is placed on the bench he is still good to have around the place if it’s at training. He has an infectious enthusiasm and is still good to have around the place,” Baxter told journalists as quoted by farpost.co.za.
On his part, Khune said he was grateful for the chance to play for Amakhosi again and further said he was ready for the competition in the team’s goalkeeping department terming the presence of Daniel Akpeyi and Bruce Bvuma as healthy.
“I’m grateful for yet another opportunity. We have great goalkeeping options and we all have to fight for the number one spot, no one is guaranteed,” Khune said.
“We always have healthy competition [because] everyone is number one. We are going to support one another if you’re not playing because we’re not doing it for ourselves, we all want to help the club to achieve what we have set out to achieve.”
On extending his contract, Chiefs said in a statement: “The goalkeeper has been given two years’ extension to his contract. This means the player will go into his record-equalling 18th season with Kaizer Chiefs’ senior team. He joins Patrick ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe in the record books of Amakhosi. Ntsoelengoe played for Chiefs from 1970 and retired in 1988.”
Khune will have another chance to impress if he starts when Chiefs take on rivals Orlando Pirates in the Carling Black Label Cup at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.