Who will be the PSL’s player of the season?

2008-05-23 00:00

THE Absa Premier Soccer League will show off its new-found riches in a glitzy end-of-season awards ceremony, to be broadcast live on TV from Kyalami tomorrow night, and the big question is: who will be Player of the Season?

Unusually, there is no clear front-runner for the award, with at least five players whose names have been put forward as the potential winner of the R150 000 prize.

With SuperSport United having won the league, the case for Mozambican midfielder Elias “Dominguez” Pelembe must have been significantly strengthened. The direct, skilful, goalscoring winger or playmaker was instrumental in his team’s late charge to the title in just his first season in the PSL.

Nigerian Enoh Eyong — of SuperSport’s challengers for the title, Ajax Cape Town — is another strong candidate for his dynamic role in defensive midfield for the PSL runners-up.

Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates under-performed, so chances of their players winning the award have diminished. Amakhosi goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, though, has made the Kaizer Chiefs jersey his own after the departure of Rowen Fernandez to Germany and injury to Emille Baron.

Chiefs might have finished in worse than sixth place if not for the energetic heroics of the 20-year-old ’keeper, and Khune seems sure to win the goalkeeper’s award.

Orlando Pirates’ Teko Modise has suffered from over-exposure in just his second season in the PSL, the playmaker’s numerous call-ups to the national team and ever-presence in the Bucs line-up seeing the jaded player lose form in the second half of the season.

Exciting forward Erwin Isaacs, who played a leading role in Santos finishing third, is another candidate, while Ajax’s Bryce Moon and Ricardo Ferreira and SuperSport’s Bongani Khumalo have also put their names forward.

It will be a huge shock if Gavin Hunt does not win Coach of the Season for guiding SuperSport to the title in his first season at the club. After a poor start in which the supporters’ placards read “Hunt must go”, the coach changed tactics to a more conservative approach until the team had found its confidence by the end of the season, and ended with a flourish.

Top scorer will go to Moroka Swallows’ James Chamanga with 14 goals to win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot Award, though the Zambian striker will not receive the R50 000 prize money because he did not reach the minimum of 15 goals required by the sponsors.

In the Nedbank Cup AmaZulu striker Dumisani Ngwenya must stand a chance of winning either Most Promising Player or Player of the Tournament. Ngwenya scored seven goals in two games, including five in the 14-0 last-32 victory over Young Ones.

TV: Live on SABC1 and

SuperSport 3 from 8 pm

Awards

Absa Premier Soccer League:

Absa Premiership Player of the Season: R150 000

Absa Premiership Players Player of the Season: R150 000

Absa Premiership Coach of the Season: R75 000

Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season: R50 000

Absa Premiership Top Goalscorer of the Season (Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot Award)

Absa–lutely Awesome Goal of the Season worth R50 000

Nedbank Cup:

Most Promising Player of the Tournament: R25 000

Player of the Tournament: R100 000

Telkom Knockout:

Player of the tournament worth R200 000.

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