Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
22 Apr 2022
3:05 pm

Khune would have made it in Europe – Barr

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

'There is absolutely no doubt that he would have had great success playing overseas,' said the Northern Ireland-based goalkeeper.

Itumeleng Khune could have done well overseas, says goalkeeper Jethren Barr. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix.

Jethren Barr’s overseas career seems to be going on smoothly and the former Maritzburg United, Bidvest Wits and Stellenbosch FC shot-stopper reckons Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune could have had great success playing abroad.

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Barr, who plays for Northern Irish club Portadown in the North Ireland Football League, joined the club last year after his contract with Maritzburg ended.

The 26 year-old KwaZulu-Natal born player says his quick adjustment abroad makes him think that the former Bafana Bafana captain, who has not had much game time at Amakhosi this season, could have been great had he decided to take his football overseas.

“Yes, I think he could have been very great in Europe. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the country and I grew up watching him as well as Rowen Fernandez. I used to go to Moses Mabhida a lot whenever Chiefs were playing and I used to learn from him, I studied him for a long  time,” said the shot-stopper.

“I look at myself and the way things have been going and I see other goalkeepers in the league (Irish League), and I look at Khune, there is absolutely no doubt that he would have had great success playing overseas. People like talking about height, but I think his height wouldn’t have mattered because at the end of the day he would be doing the job perfectly.”

One major skill that Barr says differentiates him and his other counterparts in Ireland is the ball distribution, something he learnt from Khune and kept on learning while he was still at Wits.

“It is what makes me special (the ball distribution), Khune used to do it so effortlessly. I learnt it, I used to stay next to the grounds at Wits and I would always train. I used to use tires and always tried to put the ball through of a tire. I got it eventually and now it works for me because at the moment that’s what separates me from the rest of the goalkeepers in the league. I have about four or five assists already this season.”