SA soccer's future in safe hands

Khulekani Kubheka of Sundowns MDC makes a save for the national team.
Khulekani Kubheka of Sundowns MDC makes a save for the national team.
Image: Getty Images / Aitor Alcalde

SA is blessed with a new brigade of budding goalkeepers like Mondli Mpoto, Khulekani Kubheka, Sikhumbuzo Ncube, Bruce Bvuma, Kopano Thuntsane and Sipho Chaine. These emerging keepers have the potential to take the baton from the likes of Darren Keet, Ronwen Williams and Itumeleng Khune.

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Kubheka (Sundowns MDC)

Kubheka was arguably Amajita's best player at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland last month, which was his third global showpiece.

The 20-year-old keeper is making waves at the international level, having been involved in the 2015 U17 World Cup in Chile. The Mamelodi Sundowns man also played at the U20 international spectacle in South Korea two years ago.

Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic)

Mondli Mpoto of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Mondli Mpoto of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Image: Getty Images / Alex Grimm

Now on the books of Phunya Sele Sele, Mpoto proved his talent at the Cosafa Cup last month, helping Bafana Bafana retain their plate title.

The future looks bright for the SuperSport United development product and the departure of veteran Patrick Tignyemb could see Mpoto, 20, get his chance in the new season at Celtic.

Bvuma (Chiefs)

Bruce Bvuma of Kaizer Chiefs.
Bruce Bvuma of Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: BackpagePix / Ryan Wilkisky

Bvuma, 24, travelled with Bafana to the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt as a third choice. The Amakhosi prodigy will earn vast experience at the Afcon, though he's third in the pecking order behind Williams and Keet.

Ncube (Baroka)

The 22-year-old Ncube, who is Baroka's second-choice keeper behind Elvis Chipezeze, is famous for his ball distribution prowess that is similar in style to that of Khune. Ncube inspired Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) to Varsity Football triumph earlier last year, before joining Bakgaga.

Thuntsane (Pirates MDC)

Kopano Thuntsane of Orlando Pirates MDC.
Kopano Thuntsane of Orlando Pirates MDC.
Image: Getty Images / Boris Streubel

Thuntsane, 19, is on the books of Orlando Pirates. He was with Amajita at the World Cup in Poland, playing second fiddle to Kubheka. He boasts exceptional reflexes, shot-stopping ability and footwork. His ability to read the game, and come out to collect crosses, which enables him to command his area effectively, is second to none.

Chaine (Celtic)

Sipho Chaine of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Sipho Chaine of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Image: Getty Images / Boris Streubel

The 22-year-old Chaine helped Celtic win the MDC last season. His heroics saw him named the reserve league's player of the season.

He has been playing second fiddle to Tignyemb.

Chaine is known for his outstanding reflexes, agility and shot-stopping ability, as well as his penchant for saving the ball with his feet.

These attributes set him apart from his peers and enable him to produce acrobatic dives and spectacular saves.

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