Itumeleng Khune will start against Stellenbosch FC in his 300th game for Kaizer Chiefs. The goalkeeper made his debut in a league clash against Jomo Cosmos on 25 August 2007.
Khune, born in Ventersdorp, came for trials to Amakhosi in 1999 and his potential was recognised. But it took a while to join the first team squad. That opportunity arose in 2004, when Brian ‘Spiderman’ Baloyi left for Mamelodi Sundowns, and Khune was brought into the squad from the youth development as a back-up to Rowen Fernandez and Emile Baron.
It was actually Chiefs Chairman Kaizer Motaung who, after having watched a reserve team game between Chiefs and Wits University, advised then coach Ted Dumitru that he should have a look at this “talented young goalkeeper”.
Chiefs won the league title in the 2004/2005 season but Khune didn’t play a single game. However, he did get his opportunity to play after Fernandez left for German side Arminia Bielefeld ahead of the 2007/2008 season. Khune didn’t keep goal in the first league match that season either, but he got his chance in the second game, against Jomo Cosmos, and he never looked back.
The talented goalkeeper was soon nicknamed ‘Spiderkid’ as a reference to his predecessor, Baloyi.
‘Itu’, as he’s called by his teammates, is immensely proud to have added, besides numerous cup medals, two more league title medals to his trophy cabinet in 2013 and 2015, as keeper between the sticks.
Until this evening’s Nedbank Cup Last 16 fixture against Stellenbosch, Khune has kept goal in 299 matches for Chiefs – 236 league, 58 cup and five African Champions League games.
The 30-year-old recently mentioned that “with age, my body strength is slowly regressing, but I am able to read situations much faster and, as a result, close down situations before they become dangerous. Goalkeeping is like good wine, the older the better.”
Khune’s Chiefs journey is far from finished. “I am still hungry for more success and want to win more trophies.”
Kaizer Chiefs congratulates Itumeleng Khune on reaching this magnificent milestone.
Chiefs host Stellenbosch FC in a Nedbank Cup Last 16 clash at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 10 March (kick-off is at 20:15).