Slim Kat Usuthu move not so clever

20 May 2018 - 15:13
By Amos mananyetso
Goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix Goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs.

Goalkeepers hardly make headlines in football news unless in instances where they make howlers that cost their teams dearly or when they save a penalty that propels them to hero status.

This week was an exception. Two goalkeepers cracked the back pages in two different continents as Juventus veteran Gianluigi Buffon said goodbye to the club that he played for for 17 years.

Here at home, it was announced that Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs was bought by AmaZulu.

There is no doubt that both goalkeepers have had illustrious careers with Buffon leading the honours log with a number of medals.

Buffon, 40, has among other decorations kept 300 clean sheets for Juventus in his 655 matches.

He captained the Old Lady of Italian football to a seventh straight Serie A title and fourth consecutive Italian Cup triumph this season.

After playing his last game for the club against Verona yesterday, there will be plenty of options for him, including making a quick buck in the US Major Soccer League.

At national level, Buffon is Italy's most-capped player with 176 appearances.

Back home, Josephs turned 38 yesterday and has among his honours, played for the national team during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations when then number one Rowen Fernandez got injured.

He also tasted action in the 2010 World Cup when Itumeleng Khune was given his marching orders in the country's second game against Uruguay.

Josephs also played in South Africa's final group game against France when Bafana Bafana won 2-1.

Slim Kat, as Josephs is affectionately known, began his career with the defunct Cape Town Spurs at the age of 17 in 1997.

He later joined Ajax Cape Town where he stayed for seven years before Bidvest Wits introduced him to the bright lights of Gauteng.

After shining bright at Wits, Josephs was snapped up by Soweto giants Orlando Pirates but later went back to Wits.

While it is good to see that clubs like AmaZulu believe that an ageing Josephs still has an active role to play, I believe that the talented goalkeeper might have blundered by taking up the offer. The logical thing to do was to stay put at Wits until he hung up his gloves.

Wits is a solid club with a rich history and a track record of taking care of their ex-players, if and when they are interested in earning a decent living beyond their playing days.

Some of their old crocks, like Ashley Makhanya, Peter "Big Six" Rabolelele, Dillon Shepherd, Matthew Booth, Ceasar Maphalla and Glen Salmon are now youth coaches at the university club known for its extensive youth programme.

One of the club's legends, Paul Johnstone, is assistant coach to Gavin Hunt while Tyron Damons is the senior team's goalkeeper coach.

Having said that, I hope Josephs was well-advised and took into account his future employment prospects into question when agreeing to move to KwaZulu-Natal.