Mental health is taboo in the sports fraternity with many footballers continuing to suffer in silence due to depression or other mental health-related issues on and off the field.
Following weeks of uncertainty and notable absence, Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune has confirmed that fellow goalkeeper Brandon Peterson is receiving special psychological care at the club.
Recently, Brandon Peterson was under severe criticism following a string of goalkeeping errors that cost Amakhosi crucial points or getting knocked out of cup competition.
The latest incident came when Chiefs lost 2-1 against Golden Arrows after a goalkeeping blunder from the 29-year-old that resulted in the first goal.
Peterson was then dropped by interim coach Cavin Johnson – a decision Khune supported as his partner is being examined by a former Springboks psychologist.
Brandon is not himself
“We [players] all know what he is going through, and we are trying to help him,” Khune told Sunday World recently.
“Even the club has provided resources for him by bringing in Dr Henning Gericke, who is a psychologist, just to discover what he is going through on and off the field.
“So, they have been having sessions and you could see that Brandon has changed his way of doing things – he is not himself.
“He is a father, a leader and as the captain of the club, I’m grooming him [to be the future captain] when the legs cannot carry me anymore. I know the armband will be in safe hands.”
Amakhosi roped in Gericke as a high-performance coach early in September when Molefi Ntseki was in charge.
At the time, Chiefs players were exposed to spectator violence every time after dropping points at the hands of their rivals.
The club said it believes the events might have influenced player performances that were accompanied by poor results.
Meanwhile, English Premier League side Burnley also recently confirmed that striker and Bafana Bafana international Lyle Foster will be out of action for an indefinite period as he is receiving specialist care amid mental health battles.