Gumede doesn't view himself as Arrows No.1 keeper
Nkosingiphile aware he too can be toppled
For Nkosingiphile Gumede, reclaiming the No.1 jersey from highly-rated Sifiso Mlungwana at Golden Arrows doesn’t mean he’s now an outright first-choice goalkeeper.
The 24-year-old Mlungwana had been Arrows’ favourite keeper for the past two seasons and he started the season as the side’s No.1 until Gumede started playing ahead of him from the sixth league game of the season until now.
Still, Gumede isn’t viewing himself as Arrows’ No.1, acknowledging he must always be on his toes as other shot-stoppers at the club are capable of ousting him. Gumede has started Arrows’ last eight league games, managing four clean sheets while conceding seven.
“I am not the No.1 goalkeeper because we’re all good keepers. I must always be on my toes so that I will continue playing. I fully understand that any keeper at the club is good enough to play, so I can’t say I am No.1,’’ Gumede told Sowetan yesterday.
Gumede also opened up about what helped him to retrieve the No.1 shirt from Mlungwana, attributing patience and hard-work to his redemption. Before Mlungwana’s rather meteoric rise in the past two seasons, Gumede was a regular.
“You know it’s always difficult to play when other keeper is doing well. Sifiso was doing well, so I had to work harder to get my chance. I remained patient when I wasn't playing and as they say patience is indeed virtue,’’ said Gumede, who’s played 108 matches for Abafana Bes’thende since joining the outfit in 2011.
With the DStv Premiership currently on a hiatus due to the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Cameroon, Gumede has disclosed they’re treating the recess as pre-season.
“All the work we’re doing is like the one we do during pre-season. We do a lot of fitness work. We are hoping that we’ll return stronger than before because we’re putting in a lot of work behind the scenes,’’ Gumede revealed.
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