When Khunwane arrived at Magosi some four seasons ago, he was an unknown youngster. But those who saw him play immediately detected his immense potential to become a defender of note. He signed for Magosi from Extension Gunners at a time when Chiefs had a lot of experienced players in defense and many wondered if he would make a cut. Through hard work, it was not long before he won the hearts of Magosi fans and established himself as a regular feature in the Chiefs line-up.
At the age of 23, he was touted as the man who would lead Chiefs into the future. But his sudden departure dampened the mood at Chiefs and left his admirers in shock. In a move that was widely described as a major coup for the Reds, the youngster penned a three-year contract to mark an abrupt end to his promising career at Chiefs. The icing on the cake for the GU top brass was that they signed Khunwane on free transfer.
“This is very difficult for me because Center Chiefs made me. This was my second home over the past three years and everyone here was supportive. I was an unknown player when I joined Chiefs, but they gave me an opportunity to play regular football and I will forever remain thankful to the club. Sadly, sometimes in life we have to make tough decisions that would be unpopular with others,” said Khunwane.
The young defender managed to win two successive league medals with Chiefs under the watchful eye of Zimbabwean coach Madinda Ndlovu. He revealed that he didn’t want to leave Chiefs, but decided to scout for opportunities when they dragged their feet in offering him a contract.
“I waited for them to talk to me but they dragged their feet. I had no choice but look elsewhere. GU came up with a good offer which I couldn’t resist. They showed seriousness and professionalism during our negotiations. Some will say I betrayed Chiefs, but I had to take the GU offer because my future was on the line,” he said.
Khunwane started training with the Reds on Wednesday and his main aim is to work hard and earn a place in the starting line-up. GU head of communications, Herbert Letsebe said his club is excited at signing the talented defender. He pointed out that they have been monitoring Khunwane’s progress at Chiefs over the years and they have no doubt that he is a big catch. Letsebe said they are still baffled how Chiefs could have a quality defender like Khunwane in their ranks without offering him a contract.
“We’re excited that we managed to bring him on board and I’ve no doubt that he is going to add stability to our defense. At the age of 23, he is an unbelievable talent and he comes with a lot of Premier League experience from Chiefs,” said Letsebe.
Meanwhile, GU has also signed two Zimbabwean internationals, namely goalkeeper Phillip Nhete and striker Tendai Nyamabadzo. The goalkeeper had a stint with BMC in the last campaign but returned home to link up with Harare giants Dynamos. Nyamabadzo comes with a huge reputation, having made his mark at relegated TAFIC in the previous season. He is famous for scoring five goals when Tafic mauled Orapa United 6-0 in a match that was played in Francistown.
“In addition to Khunwane, we are confident that the two Zimbabwean players will live up to expectations. We know these players because we watched them playing for their previous clubs, unlike in the past when we brought foreigners here only for them to disappoint,” said Letsebe.
He also revealed that they are not done with recruiting new players as they still want to beef up their defense and strike force. He said they didn’t think it was important to fill the gap left by defender Tumisang Sekanonyana, whose contract was not renewed. He added that they are in talks with defender Shoes Selefa, whose contract has also come to an end. GU kicked off their pre-season program when they hosted South African side Platinum Stars in a Dipsy Selolwane testimonial match at the National Stadium in Gaborone yesterday. As part of their preparations, the Reds will also feature in the annual Kabelano Charity Cup on August 2, ahead of what promises to be a demanding 2014/15 Premier League season.