Healthy competition for places – Bvuma

Bruce Bvuma is one of the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeepers. It’s the 23-year-old’s second pre-season with the first team squad. “It’s tough, but I am enjoying it,” he comments.

The young keeper didn’t have much of an off-season as he was part of the Bafana Bafana squad participating in the Cosafa Cup. However, unlike last year, Bvuma didn’t get any game time. Last year, he had three caps for the South African national team.

The goalkeeper coach, Lee Baxter is putting the guys through their drills at the training ground at Chiefs Village. The keepers are: Khune, Virgil Vries, Bvuma and Brylon Petersen. “There is a healthy competition for places,” Bvuma admits.

Vries is the new guy, having played for Baroka FC last season. “Virgil is bringing in a lot of experience,” Bvuma continues. “He’s a good goalkeeper. We are all helping each other.”

When not training, the keeper is often found in the company of some of the other youngsters in the Chiefs squad, like Itumeleng Shopane, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Wiseman Meyiwa and Siyabonga Ngezana. “We often play FIFA 18,” Bvuma says, before elaborating who is the best. “That must be Siyabonga and myself.”

Of course, Bvuma is also regularly found glued to the television screen, closely following the World Cup in Russia. His favourite goalkeeper is Manuel Neuer, but with the Germans already out of the World Cup, he had to look for other keepers to follow.

“I like England’s Jordan Pickford and Uruguay’s Fernando Muslera”, Bvuma points out, before adding, “I often watch actions of goalkeepers on YouTube. I learn from that. I will check, for example, how they position themselves for crosses into the box or how they come out for one-on-one situations.”

The goalkeeper singles out Croatia, Belgium and England as candidates to win the World Cup, leaving out Brazil. “I don’t see them as candidates,” he firmly reacts.

At training, Bvuma loves the challenge of players kicking the ball at him from long distance. “The best is Bernard Parker,” he reveals, “because he has a bit of the Ronaldo technique, with the ball swerving towards you.”

About his goals for the upcoming season, Bvuma comments, “We are all looking forward to a competitive season. And when it comes to my personal ambition – I would love to get some game time.”