Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper Sipho Chaine, 22, aims to oust veteran shot-stopper Patrick Tignyemb, 33, and make the No1 jersey at Phunya Sele Sele his own.
Chaine played a pivotal role in Celtic’s MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) triumph this term. His heroics in the reserve league have seen him make the first-team bench in the club’s past three games.
“It goes without saying, Patrick is probably counted among the best keeper in the PSL and rightful so. The man is good and to be among the mist or learn from him has given the confidence to believe that I can be in the same position as he is,” said Chaine.
With age still on his side and time slowly but surely running out for Celtics current No.1 keeper, the eager Chaine believes he is the right man to replace his mentor.
“Yes, I do believe am the one to come after him and be a servant to the team as well,” said Chaine.
The Cameroon-born shot-stopper has been instrumental for Siwelele since his arrival in July 2008, recording 300 appearances for the green and white, a significant achievement for a foreign keeper in Mzansi.
Hailing from the City of Roses, Chaine is one of a number of Celtic’s home-grown youngsters who are working their way up from the club’s academy. MDC captain Shadrack Kobedi, who is now a first-team regular, is another local talent in the team.
“I joined the Celtic development side in 2016 and they promoted me to the senior team the following season. Growing up in Bloemfontein, it was always my dream to play for Celtic because the club is close to my heart and we support it at home,” Chaine said.
During Celtic’s UK trip last month, Chaine was one of the standout performers in matches against the reserves of English Premiership London-based clubs West Ham United and Fulham.
The promising keeper’s exploits during the tour, which saw Celtic lifting the reserve league trophy, didn’t go unnoticed in the UK as West Ham under-23 team coach Liam Manning also lauded his character.