Johannesburg - Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana defender Fabian McCarthy believes Itumeleng Khune is the national team's best option as goalkeeper.
The Vryburg-born hard tackler said despite Bafana’s impressive run under Shakes Mashaba, they are still lacking good leadership qualities at the back and the solution to the problem would be the Kaizer Chiefs goal minder.
McCarthy insists all Bafana defenders respect Khune more than they do other goalkeepers - which can be attributed as a reason for Bafana’s failure to progress to the knock-out stages of the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns defender also highlighted “Spider kid’s” road to the top from their days together at Chiefs where Khune overcame the odds, from being the fourth choice ‘keeper, to being the best in the country.
“His experience is needed in the national team and I believe he is suitable to lead the team again,” McCarthy told Sport24 on Thursday.
“I knew his capabilities from our days at Chiefs and the boy has worked so hard to get where he is today.
“Khune brings an extra confidence and motivation to our national team players and Bafana need a goalkeeper with his experience and leadership.
“All defenders respect and they all listen to him (more) than the other goalkeepers in the squad.
“He knows how to organise his defence and he is not afraid to shout at them when they make mistakes.
“Yes, Darren Keet and Jackson Mabokgwane are good ‘keepers, but Khune is the best in South Africa.
“Just look how far he came, from being the fourth choice ‘keeper at Chiefs competing with Brian Baloyi, Rowen Fernandez and Aubrey Mathibe to go all the way and clinch the No 1 position.
“With all due respect to Shakes Mashaba and his players who went to AFCON this year.
“Fact is, if Khune was there, Bafana could have won at least one game and qualify for the next round of the tournament.”
Khune was in goal for South Africa in their friendly international game against Nigeria last Sunday when they played to a 1-all draw.