SABC Sport can confirm that former Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper Brian Baloyi has taken on a new role at La Liga outfit Espanyol.
Baloyi has revealed he will be joining Espanyol as head goalkeeper coach of a satellite academy in South Africa, where they are looking to unearth local talent.
The 48-year-old has explained that he concluded discussions with the Spanish side over roping him in and using his experience at the highest level.
The ex-Bafana Bafana international has already hit the ground running, with trials coming up around mid-to-end June.
Baloyi says Espanyol will also allow him the opportunity to finally open his long-held dream of opening his own goalkeeper academy.
“I’ve always wanted to have a goalkeeping academy – I spoke about this whilst I was still playing, we had plans with [former Chiefs goalkeeper coach] Rainer Dinkelacker, even before moving to Sundowns,” Baloyi told this website.
“[The plan was] that one day we wanted to build a goalkeeper academy in South Africa. Even when I had just moved [from Chiefs] to Sundowns, we had meetings with him, Itu [Khune], Thela Ngobeni, and we wanted to start something.
“By that time, it wasn’t the right time, and right now I’ve just joined Espanyol – we’re launching Espanyol – the academy, in South Africa, and I’ve just joined them as the head goalkeeper coach.
“In the next two weeks we have goalkeeper trials and the academy itself has trials again at St Stithians [College] in Sandton.
“But we’re looking at launching a fully functional training in mid-June, [and] before the end of June we want to be up and running.”
What prompted ‘Spiderman’ to go this route is a growing concern that Bafana Bafana will soon struggle to find goalkeepers of similar quality.
“We have a crisis, a challenge when it comes to goalkeeping and I think for many years we’ve had an over-reliance on Itu, and that has come back to bite us,” he added.
“Also, most of the guys that were his age and were always understudy to him never had much experience in playing for Bafana and it’s a lot of things I could point [out] that are contributing to this problem.”
By Mazola Molefe