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John Tlale backs Kaizer Chiefs' decision to sign Virgil Vries

11:14 PM SGT 26/6/18
John Tlale
The former Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper believes Amakhosi will use Vries as their second choice whilst helping Bruce Bvuma and Brylon Petersen to grow

Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper John Tlale says he doesn’t see anything wrong with Kaizer Chiefs signing former Baroka FC goalkeeper Virgil Vries.

Signing a goalkeeper is something rare at Amakhosi as they are known for developing their own through their youth ranks.

Vries was released by Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele a few weeks ago and made a shock move to Chiefs after having a difficult spell with the Limpopo side as he was unveiled on Monday.

Formerly on the books of Maritzburg United since 2013, the Brave Warriors net-minder switched to Baroka in July last year and made the number one jersey his own until the technical team noticed they were flirting with relegation towards the end of the last term.

The 27-year-old conceded 29 goals in 22 matches in all competitions for Baroka, a record which forced the club to opt for Ayanda Dlamini in the latter stages of the campaign.

Just after their campaign, Baroka announced the Namibian’s departure, but Tlale believes Amakhosi know what they are doing.

According to football manager, Bobby Motaung, Vries will provide cover for Itumeleng Khune, who has been the club's No.1 for over a decade. 

However, many believe the likes of Bruce Bvuma and Brylon Petersen would be considered following the departure of Brilliant Khuzwayo, who recently joined Orlando Pirates.

Speaking exclusively to Goal, Tlale said Vries’ arrival doesn’t mean he will be number one or is he guaranteed to start ahead of Petersen and Bvuma.

“Yeah, this one is tricky because they are not used to buying keepers, but I believe they have a plan for that,” Tlale told Goal.

“Look, for me you know as a goalkeeper it’s difficult because this is not just a position - it’s special,” he reacted.

“I think Khune will remain as the number one and Vries is signed to provide cover in case of injuries because it will not be easy to replace Khune,” he continued.

“Personally, I don’t see any issues with Chiefs signing him. Although Khune is experienced and quality, he will need cover but I am not saying Vries does not deserve to play for Chiefs,” said the 51-year-old.

“But it was different with Khuzwayo. It was not easy for him to beat Khune for the number one spot, but it was also not good to keep him on the bench and I believe he will play at Pirates now and he will make it into the national team,” said the ex-Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper.

“They will compete for the number one jersey at Bafana. We know he did well when he came on when Khune was not available,” added the former Bucs keeper.

“Vries is good and we cannot comment on why they signed him, but he will also learn from Khune at Chiefs,” explained the 1996 African champion.

“I am sure he will not be at Chiefs for a long time and that will allow the two young keepers in Bvuma and Petersen to take the role of being number one,” said the Kroonstad-born legend.

“I remember talking to Bobby about Khune. I told him this boy must be the number one. He said I was in a hurry and rushing him, but he came back to me and said you were right because he has what it takes to be a leader,” recalled Tlale.

“It is a highlight for Namibian football and personally for Vries to join Chiefs. I hope he will use this opportunity to learn and share with the youngsters at Chiefs,” concluded the ex-Roses United coach.