Zebras goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe is yet to feature in an official game for Platinum Stars this season. The young stopper has been demoted to being Siyabonga Mphotshane’s substitute after being off field nursing an injury he sustained during the pre-season. Dambe had in the last season eclipsed his teammate to end the 2012/2013 season as the club’s first choice goalkeeper.
Dambe featured in five of the club’s last six games last season. His form helped him earn a place in the club’s crucial Nedbank Cup semi-final against Supersport United while Mpontshane became his deputy. However, his absence enabled Mpontshane to reclaim his place, which now seems to be difficult to reclaim. While Dambe is working hard to try and reclaim his role, special attention on his side is need on the following:
Experts and analysts have highlighted the importance of having upper body strength as a goalkeeper in high profile leagues. A goalkeeper with a strong upper body has the ability to deal with aerial challenges and intimidate opponents during set pieces. Dambe is yet to develop a strong physique and that has been his downfall according to analysts.
His goalkeeping rival, Mpontshane, is ahead of the Botswana stopper in that respect. The South African is more bulky than his teammate and that helps him become a dominant figure in his area. Dambe can draw inspiration from Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea.
The Spaniard was once labeled a lightweight who was unable to cope with the physical demands of the English Premier but he has since developed a stronger upper body frame after going through a strict gym and diet regime. Platinum Stars’ technical team has also implemented the same routine for Dambe in a bid to help him improve his upper body frame.
Being more vocal
A vocal goalkeeper is widely regarded as an ideal choice for any coach. It helps to keep defenders alert and makes them wary of making any mistakes. During last season’s 3-2 defeat against Supersport United, there was a visible contrast between Dambe and his counterpart, Ronwen Williams.
Williams was more vocal, kept his teammates busy throughout the match and maintained control of his goalkeeping area. Dambe conceded a scrappy goal scored by Mogogi Gabonamong due to a defensive mix up in the Stars penalty area. Many have argued that the goal could have been avoided if Dambe had been more dominant in his area and communicated with his defenders to let them know that he is in charge of the area. Many believe that if the former Township Rollers goalkeeper improves his communication skills he can reclaim his place in the starting lineup.
While Mpontshane is starting to reach the peak years of his career Dambe is younger and has more international experience at national team level. This could result in a possibly decade long battle for the goalkeeping position that could benefit the club as they would have two great goalkeepers competing for the number one spot.