Mamelodi Sundowns talismanic striker Peter Shalulile was the biggest winner at the PSL awards on Sunday night.
In a ceremony conducted virtually via a pre-recorded transmission from the SuperSport studios in Randburg, Johannesburg, the Namibian international was voted PSL footballer and DStv Premiership player’s player of the season.
The 27-year-old was voted for by all 16 premier division coaches, while fellow players seconded him for the other award.
He bagged R450 000 in total.
Shalulile’s club team-mate Themba Zwane was voted the league’s best midfielder of the campaign.
In arguably the surprise of the ceremony, AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy beat his championship-winning Mamelodi Sundowns counterparts to the R75 000 DStv Premiership coach of the season award.
A fair argument would be that McCarthy transformed Usuthu from relegation candidates to a league-challenging side that ended second, all in a space of five months since he took charge of the Durban-based side in December.
The runners-up position was the highest finish by AmaZulu in the premier division – a feat that has also earned the club a berth in the prestigious CAF Champions League in the new season.
But others argued that Sundowns co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena were more deserving after they, together with senior coach Steve Komphela, guided the defending champions to yet another record-breaking campaign in which the team suffered just one defeat in 30 games. They also finished the season unbeaten away from home.
Sundowns claimed the title – their fourth on the trot – with a difference of 13 points ahead of AmaZulu.
In the other categories, Baroka’s Evidence Makgopa was voted most promising player, while Swallows defender Njabulo Ngcobo took home the gong for the best defender.
It was inevitable that the winners of the individual awards in the knockout competitions would come from the winning teams.
Orlando Pirates attacker Deon Hotto was voted the MTN8 competition best player after he helped Bucs end a six-year trophy drought in December.
Goalkeeper Washington Arubi deservedly took home the Nedbank Cup player of the tournament after he almost single-handedly steered Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila to annex the R7 million competition.
In arguably one of the most difficult categories to judge – the best goal – the adjudicators felt Teboho Mokoena’s thunderous strike for SuperSport United against Stellenbosch on November 1 deserved the vote.
On the downside, no first division or referee awards were handed out. The PSL announced that a few hours before the ceremony, alleging that the SA Football Association had failed to submit the nominees and winners for the best centre referee and assistant category in time for the event.
Meanwhile, the league is entangled in a legal battle that seeks to resolve who, between Royal AM and Sekhukhune United, should earn automatic promotion to the premier division.
The matter will be heard before the high court this week.
FULL LIST OF PSL AWARD WINNERS
PSL footballer of the season
Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns)
DStv Premiership player’s player of the season
Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns)
DStv Premiership coach of the season
Benni McCarthy (AmaZulu)
DStv Premiership young player of the season (under 21)
Evidence Makgopa (Baroka)
DStv Premiership goalkeeper of the season
Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Premiership defender of the season
Njabulo Ngcobo (Swallows)
Premiership midfielder of the season
Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Premiership goal of the season
Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United)
Premiership top goalscorer
Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United) – 16 goals
MTN8 last man standing
Deon Hotto (Orlando Pirates)
Nedbank Cup most promising player (Under 23)
Khanyisa Mayo (Richards Bay)
Nedbank Cup player of the tournament
Washington Arubi (Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila)
DStv Diski Challenge Rewired player of the tournament
Siyanda Nyanga (Mamelodi Sundowns)
DStv top goal scorer (joint on six goals)
Taahir Goedeman (Cape Town City)
Kamohelo Hoala (Kaizer Chiefs)
Asanda Buthelezi (Maritzburg United)
Boitumelo Radiopane (Orlando Pirates)
PSL CHAIRMAN’S AWARD
Isilo Samabandla, King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu
General Bantu Holomisa