Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia has expressed sadness following the news that Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo has retired.
The Umlazi-born keeper called it a day after failing to recover from a long-term knee injury, but Heredia has backed the 29-year-old to bounce back in the game.
“It’s a pity to hear such news. Look, he was such a talented goalkeeper and I know him at the U23 and I coached him at Bafana. I think we must believe this was a big injury that forced him to retire but he must not give up – he must have confidence,” Heredia told Goal.
“I think we need to believe and understand his decision, but I think we need to have a second opinion on the injury. That’s my opinion because it’s sad to lose such a talented goalkeeper, his talent was evident and there’s no doubt about that,” he added.
“He proved himself on many occasions whenever he got a chance to play. It was unfortunate that injuries held him back and he failed to realize his true potential,” noted the coach.
The Fifa, Caf and Safa accredited goalkeeping coach added it would be sad to see the former Kaizer Chiefs net-minder going out of football for good.
“In my opinion, it would be sad to see such a quality keeper going out of the picture. I think he can continue with his career in football,” he continued.
“I would advise a coaching licence, start with his D and move to C licence. I am confident he will be a good keeper coach and possibly we can see him in the PSL and move to the national teams,” he added.
“He needs to try by all means and get involved in coaching courses and I will be happy to help him in my coaching classes. I can only say good luck to him and it is very sad to talk about his retirement,” Heredia said.
Having launched his football career with AmaZulu back in in 2010, Khuzwayo went on to become one of the few players that played both Chiefs and Pirates despite not having had an opportunity to don the Black and White shirt in an official PSL match due to injury.
For this reason, the Argentine-born coach believes Khuzwayo can consider himself as part of South African football's history books.
“Definitely, he wrote his name in history books when it comes to South African football. It will be very sad to see him going out of the system as I said,” said the coach.
Khuzwayo represented the U23’s on 29 occasions and donned the Bafana shirt four times, he will be remembered for helping Amakhosi lift the MTN8 Cup in 2014 when they beat the Sea Robbers.
“He’s still young to see his talent going to waste and I think he has a role to play behind the scenes, he must just believe and remain confident,” he concluded.