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Goalkeepers hold the aces in the Soweto derby

Jackson Mabokgwane of Orlando Pirates./ Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix
Jackson Mabokgwane of Orlando Pirates./ Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Ex-Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Brian Baloyi reckons the position (on the log) is more of a mental issue than physical, and that coach Ernst Middendorp has a big call to make ahead of the Soweto derby.

Chiefs have goalkeeping challenges ahead of the clash against Pirates with Itumeleng Khune still out with a shoulder injury and Virgil Vries struggling to fill the void.

It's unlikely Middendorp would throw Bruce Bvuma into the deep with one appearance to his name this season, which came in the 2-2 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic six months ago.

Chiefs' other option is Nigerian international Daniel Akpeyi, who's new to the setup after joining from Chippa United last week.

Baloyi told the Sowetan yesterday that Middendorp has to assess Vries' mental state before making a decision on who to play. "Vries has been struggling with a couple of howlers," Baloyi stated.

"As much as we want to support him, he's struggling and it would depend on the coach if he really knows his mental capacity if he can take the pressure. The goalkeeper coach's input is very important. After those setbacks, can he take the pressure and can he use that to redeem himself?

"Sometimes it takes a keeper to have big balls," said Baloyi, who made 347 starts for Chiefs between 1993 and 2004.

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