Johannesburg - Nominated for four awards, including footballer of the season, to be presented at Sunday's Premier Soccer League annual awards ceremony, Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune says he would not have been there without the help of his entire team.
“I'm humbled by the nominations, because finally my hard work is paying off,” said Khune in Naturena on Wednesday, where his side were preparing to take on SuperSport United in the final of the Nedbank Cup in Durban on Saturday.
“I don't like taking credit all by myself -- credit must go to all the players, technical team, supporters and my family. I wouldn't have been nominated if it wasn't for their undying support."
Khune, whose name had also been put forward for players' player of the season, goalkeeper of the season and Nedbank Cup player of the season, said his success had been partly due to the team's dedication throughout the season.
“As Kaizer Chiefs' players, we having been giving our all the entire season.”
Despite struggling in their final few league fixtures to secure the title, their results from earlier league matches propelled them to the trophy, Khune explained.
“Having been consistent throughout the season, it wasn't easy for us as players.
“Now we're mentally fatigued but I'm not using that as an excuse. Everyone knows how hard we worked to maintain that number one spot.
Chasing a league and cup double, Khune said it would be a dream come true in his first season as captain if the team walked away with both trophies.
“In my first full season as a captain, achieving the double would be a memory I would cherish for the rest of my life.
“It's not all about me, it's about the club success. If we win the double, it's for the club and everyone who has contributed, not for Itumeleng as captain.
Unwilling to comment on whether his performances for Chiefs had been enough to secure the captaincy of Bafana Bafana on a permanent basis, Khune was quick to point out no player was ever certain of selection for the national team.
“No one is guaranteed a place in Bafana. Me being captain was just temporary.”
If he was selected for Bafana – an almost certainty barring injury – Khune regarded it as an honour under coach Gordon Igesund.
“At the end of the day we have a job to do which is to serve the country.
“Given the opportunity, we will do that with flying colours. Every player's dream is to represent his country. To get the opportunity and privilege to wear the Bafana jersey, we have to honour that call up.”