Itu's role in Serero comeback

Itumeleng Khune perfects his kicking skills while Dino Ndlovu watches on during yesterday's session at Steyn City. /Lefty Shivambu/ Gallo Images
Itumeleng Khune perfects his kicking skills while Dino Ndlovu watches on during yesterday's session at Steyn City. /Lefty Shivambu/ Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has revealed his role in the return of SA's prodigal son Thulani Serero to the national team.

Serero has made a comeback to Bafana after a year as an outcast since refusing to honour a call-up by demanding guaranteed game time.

The 28-year-old Holland-based (Vitesse FC) playmaker is now in line to play against Nigeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

"Luckily, when we meet at Bafana we become friends and family. He [Serero] realises that he is still young and has a lot to offer, so we had some calls with him and he said he would speak with the coach and Safa [SA Football Association]," Khune said.

"We stay in the same area in the west of Johannesburg. He is just one robot away from me. Every time he is around I go to his house and he comes to my house, so we share a lot and we are brothers."

The 31-year-old conceded that national team players had been in the dark about what really happened when Serero declined a call-up, but insisted there were no hard feelings.

"When the situation happened we learned about it through the media and did not know what happened, but in the end it was the decision of the coach, Thulani and Safa."

The Chiefs keeper has urged the team's attacking players to come to the party on Saturday with the defence holding the fort so far. In the four Group E matches so far, Khune has not conceded a goal after two wins and two goalless draws.

They are second in the group behind the Super Eagles, who are at the top with nine points. Khune wants a clinical performance against the dominant West Africans.

"As players we just have to go out there and do well for the country. I have faith that we have what it takes to win and qualify for Afcon."

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