Itumeleng Khune became just the second Kaizer Chiefs player to feature in at least one league game in 13 seasons in the Absa Premiership since the formation of the PSL in 1996, when he made his first league appearance of the 2019/20 season during the Amakhosi’s 2-0 win over AmaZulu. The game was played at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Tuesday afternoon.
Khune tied up the record for Chiefs held by former Amakhosi midfielder Thabo Mooki who had featured in every season of the Absa Premiership since its inception in 1996/97 until playing his last game during the 2008-09 season. His last game was on the 4th March 2009 in a 1-0 away win over Golden Arrows.
Speaking on his achievement a pleased Khune says: “I am honoured to have reached a milestone that a legend of Kaizer Chiefs Thabo Mooki had set. Mooki and I are friends. We played together and even after he has retired, we are still close. I will call him and have a talk about this. Thabo is one of the players who has guided and assisted me throughout my career. He along with Doctor Khumalo have played a major role in my career.”
Having played in 13 seasons Khune believes he still has along way to go to emulate the likes of club legends like Mooki and Doctor Khumalo. “As a goalkeeper, I need to work harder and remain focused. A target could be to play as many games for the club as Doctor Khumalo has played.”
Khune now is looking ahead to Chiefs’ next game and is pleased to have kept a clean sheet against AmaZulu which was his first league appearance of the season. On his performance against Usuthu he adds: “As a goalkeeper it is not so much about the performances on the field but also the number of clean-sheets that you keep. I am clean-sheet driven and I encourage my backline no matter who is in it to keep a clean-sheet and they fight for me and I fight for them. Together we do it for the club and for the country when I am playing for the national team.”
With Baroka next up for Chiefs, Khune has turned his attention to Amakhosi’s next assignment. “it’s going to be a difficult game against Baroka but we are preparing well for it. The AmaZulu game is hopefully the start of good things to come. We lost before that against Polokwane City and we showed character to bounce back and win against AmaZulu. We are a big club and we needed to show character and bounce back. We go into this game against Baroka with renewed positivity and encouraged by our last win.”
Khune was featuring in his 256th league game for Chiefs against AmaZulu. He became the first goalkeeper to represent Chiefs for 13 seasons in the PSL era since the 1996/97 season. No goalkeeper has played in more league games in the PSL era for Chiefs than Khune (256). The only other goalkeeper to feature in over 200 league games in the PSL era for Chiefs is Brian Baloyi. Khune kept his 123rd clean sheet in league games for Chiefs in the 2-0 win against AmaZulu.
The next game against Bakgakga will take place on Saturday at FNB Stadium. Kick-off is set for 18:00. Tickets can be purchased from Computickets and Shoprite/Checkers stores.
Itumeleng Khune Season by Season League Apps for Chiefs.