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Khune – What Frustrated Me Under Lee Baxter

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has spoken about overcoming his weight issues, and the work he has put in to get back into the first team.

Khune returned to the KChiefs goal halfway through the first half of the campaign before an injury ruled him out of the last games before the World Cup break.

With seven games, he’s already played a lot more than in 2021/22 when he only started one game and the 35-year-old opened up about the frustrations in previous seasons.

He claims he was unaware that he was gaining weight, because of lack of communication with previous goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter and also the ‘honeymoon period’ at home.

“I think most of the time it was just frustration, because I’m one player who never questions the coaches on why I’m not playing or being picked,” Khune told iDiski Times.

“So, what I would do is drive back home and as soon as I get home, I’d ask myself questions. That’s exactly what happened. You know that honeymoon phase, my wife would spoil me, I wouldn’t notice because I would judge myself on the field.

“In every session I knew that I was training well, I was doing well but when I got home, I’d relax and I’d just eat anything and everything without being aware that I was gaining weight.

“But again, I think the communication between myself, my previous goalkeeper coach and my previous fitness trainer here at Chiefs, wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. That’s because we would do weights and we would do skin-folds but that information was kept away from us as players. So, the coaches only knew where we needed to be weight-wise but I wouldn’t know until I went to buy myself a scale.

“But again, every time I weighed myself at home and I came to work and weighed myself here it would give me different readings.”

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However, when things became clearer he changed his diet to get back on track.

“I was starting to get frustrated but I ended up coming back to my senses and I told my wife that we need to change my diet, and after changing my diet I continued training hard. If at work we didn’t load enough, I’d get home and top up,” he added.

“So that’s what helped and I think even the mindset changed. The whole of last season I only played one MTN8 game, 70 minutes in the Black Label and I was blessed enough to be voted to go represent Gauteng in the Compact Cup. I only played four competitive matches and after that, I told myself that during the off-season I’m not going to sit and do nothing, because I have saved all the energy during the season when I didn’t get an opportunity to play.

“So, I have no reason to sit and do nothing. I said I’m going to give myself the first week off completely, second week, third week and fourth week I’m going to push myself. That’s when I brought my trainer in and I would train hard. We started with conditioning to drop a few kilos, then we started building muscles. That’s what helped, that during the off-season I didn’t want to just sit and do nothing.

“I wanted to start training so that when we come back for pre-season at least I’m 10 steps ahead of my teammates. But they were happy to see me training and they were also motivated by me training during the off-season. I saw a lot of guys training during the off-season and I was happy that I was able to drop a few kilos.” 

iDiski Times
iDiski Timeshttps://www.idiskitimes.co.za/
iDiski Times is one of the fastest-growing football brands in South Africa. Boasting a free weekly newspaper as well as a 24/7 news website with top breaking news in the PSL (DStv Premiership, Motsepe Foundation Championship), women's football and all other major tournaments in South Africa and abroad.
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