From hero to zero



July 23, 2016
From hero to zero

Ajax rookie goalie Jody February

February should learn quickly from old Khune.

Owen da Gama has a moerse dilemma on his hands after deciding to take Itumeleng Khune to the Olympics.

The over-aged goalkeeper is now standing in the way of young shot-stopper Jody February.

The Ajax Cape Town youngster was the hero as the U23 as team booked their place at the Rio Games.

He saved three penalties in the third-place shootout.

Now he is facing a nervous wait to see if he will get any game time in Brazil.

It’s a tough call for Da Gama.

Ahead of the tournament and looking for some experience in the backline, the boss did concede that he was in need of some cool heads.

Da Gama used Reyaad Pieterse in the recent Cosafa Cup, but went with Khune.

But not only did he go with Khune, he also called up Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana teammate Eric Mathoho.

Along with Rivaldo Coetzee, these three manne make up a pretty formidable trio in the heart of the defence.

But is it at the expense of February.

I know that it doesn’t look good.

And that February was the hero between the sticks.

But it was an area that the coach and technical staff found was weak and not for nothing.

And because the Olympics does allow three over-age players, two players were selected to strengthen the defence.

In most cases, I would have found this smart especially with the quality that they will be facing in the tournament.

Players like Neymar, Rafinha and Marquinhos are waiting for Bafana in the opener.

Then, should SA make it out of the group with Denmark and Iraq, they could face the son of Sweden and Barcelona legend Henrik Larsson, Jordan.

The Germans also boast over-age Bender brothers Lars and Sven, Schalke sensation Max Meyer and Arsenal target Matthias Ginter.

Argentina have Diego Simeone’s laaitie Giovanni, who scored 10 goals in 12 games for River Plate’s senior team.

That’s some serious opposition.

So Da Gama will have to think long and hard about being serious about winning and giving youth a chance.

Either way, he’s going to be criticised.

One way of doing it is to give Jody the gloves for the opener, because probably no one is going to stop Neymar.

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