And the award goes to?.?.?.

2013-04-07 10:01

As the Absa Premiership enters its final stage, the question remains as to who have been the most outstanding players this season, or is it a case of choosing the best of a bad bunch? asks Timothy Molobi.

By this time of the season, award winners should be selecting themselves, but it has been tough to identify players who deserve the accolades.

It has been a season where the collective has far outweighed the contribution of an individual.

Then again, football has always been a team sport rewarding cohesiveness.

Strikers have failed to come to the party, with the leading scorer at a mere 10 goals before this weekend’s round of matches.

Like most seasons, strikers have done the South African game a disservice and those who started well have faded like paper fires.

Bernard Parker started like the real deal when he put four past AmaZulu early on in the season, but he has failed to maintain the same form.

Katlego Mashego of Moroka Swallows seems to have saved the best for last as he is now banging them in.

He was a joint top scorer before this weekend’s games.

However, there have been some notable performances during the 2012/13 campaign with goalkeepers leading from the back.

Player of the season

There are four candidates for consideration: Itumeleng Khune, Thabo Matlaba, Thuso Phala and Thabo Nthethe.

Where would Amakhosi be without Khune? He has provided good leadership and a solid base for Chiefs.

Matlaba has also been a find of the season at Pirates with his stamina carrying him beyond 90 minutes.

The diminutive defender has also let out his powerful shots with both feet to test goalkeepers.

Phala has enjoyed the most consistent career so far at Platinum Stars, which made SuperSport United rush to sign him while Nthethe has been

Mr Reliable for Bloemfontein Celtic.

Free State Stars’ Luyolo Nomandela has also been outstanding, but whether he has done enough to get the accolades remains to be seen.


Stuart Baxter has made a remarkable statement of intent in his debut season at Chiefs and is the favourite to walk away with coach of the season.

The erstwhile Bafana Bafana coach has already won one ­ Q-Innovation award.

If Chiefs end up lifting the trophy, there is no doubt Baxter will get the award.

There is no doubt that club silverware is the decisive factor and it is for that reason Baxter will win it.

Platinum Stars coach Cavin Johnson is another contender after transforming the Rustenburg-based team into a formidable force this season.

Under Johnson, Stars have moved from cellar dwellers to title contenders as they pushed the top two so far and might even end up as runners-up if they maintain their good form to the end.

Clinton Larsen is another proud locally produced talent who has done well at Celtic.

Already the former Manning Rangers player has the Telkom Knockout in his cabinet and Celtic have done well in the league as well, with limited resources.

Steve Komphela’s Free State Stars have also been consistent, even after losing their key players at the beginning of the season.

Komphela has been credited with motivating his players and being able to get the best from them.

But Baxter stands head and shoulders above them as Chiefs have been perfect in almost every department.

They play a fluid passing game and have been a marvel to watch.


Khune has been outstanding between the posts for Chiefs and he has not missed any league action so far this season.

But Ronwen Williams of SuperSport United should give him a run for his money as the young goalkeeper has also kept his side in the game.

There were times when Williams saved United from the jaws of defeat and for his age, 21, he is definitely one for the future.

Senzo Meyiwa has also made the Pirates number?1 shirt his, and deservedly so.

He grabbed the opportunity when it presented itself after Moeneeb Josephs was injured, and he’s been consistent.

Another goalkeeper who deserves a mention is Platinum Stars’ Siyabonga Mpontshane, who has benefited from Bafana goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia’s coaching technique.

But the jury is still out on who will be crowned the best of the season.

Who is your money on?

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