The 68-year-old British tactician explains his decision to retain the veteran custodian as the captain for the PSL campaign
Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has revealed the reason veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will captain the Glamour Boys this season.
The 34-year-old custodian was Chiefs’ captain in the 2020-21 campaign but he did not play regularly owing to injury and loss of form, which meant the armband was rotated between Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Samir Nurkovic, and Bernard Parker.
With Amakhosi set to kick off their campaign with an away game against TS Galaxy on Sunday, Baxter has revealed why Khune will continue to carry the armband in 2021-22 season.
What did Baxter say?
“We had a discussion around this the other day and the club captain will be Itu,” he told reporters as quoted by idiskitimes.
“Club captain, meaning whenever he plays he’s captain, whenever he doesn’t play, he’s still club captain. It doesn’t change that he is the voice of the squad and he is the go-to man, now that will not change.”
Despite confirming Khune as the captain, Baxter could not reveal who will take the assistant role.
“Apart from that, we wanted a captain for the team; we want all players to take responsibility. We want all players to have a voice, we want all players to be confident enough to help their teammates,” Baxter continued.
“Now, we’re talking about a senior player or a player that has been outstanding or a player that has clearly shown leadership qualities.
“Now that one, we might see against Mamelodi Sundowns but we want to be a captain-full team with people that are there to take the pressure, are there to take responsibility, there to have a voice and dare to express themselves.
“I think if you get lots of players good enough, the armband can almost go to anybody.”
Khune is among the players whose contracts were extended by the Soweto-giants ahead of the start of the season.
He started out as a striker when he arrived for trials at Chiefs in 1999, but assumed the gloves by chance after he experienced chest problems during a junior game and found himself being reduced to a ball boy.