PSL awards for Hunt, Chapman
Gavin Hunt and Ryan Chapman (Backpage)
Johannesburg - The goal scoring exploits of Wits’ Ryan Chapman
and the tactical acumen of SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt
have been rewarded as the two walked away with the respective titles of Absa Premiership Player of the Month and Premiership Coach of the month.
The two were the standout performers during the October/November voting period and each walked away with R10 000, courtesy of Absa Card, and four “Dreambags” filled with football equipment to donate to a school of their choice. The announcement was made at the offices of the Premier Soccer League in Parktown.
Chapman’s work rate and his ability to score crucial goals proved to be the greatest motivation for awarding him the title of PSL Player of the Month. The striker netted five PSL goals in just four games against Ajax Cape Town, Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates.
Convenor of the judging panel, Farouk Khan, noted Chapman’s ability to create opportunities for his team-mates and score goals using both feet.
“His ability in one versus one situations and being able to score under pressure yet still remain cool and composed makes this player the number one candidate for the Absa Premiership player of the Month title,” added Khan.
However, it was a tight affair between Chapman and SuperSport United goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams. The young goalkeeper produced a number of outstanding performances in goal for Matsatsantsa and went through a five match period without conceding a goal.
“A match winning performance against Kaizer Chiefs in Polokwane sealed a superb period where the youngster showed maturity that far belied his age”, added one of the judges. Williams garnered the second highest number of votes from the panel of judges with Elias Pelembe of Mamelodi Sundowns finishing third.
In the battle of the PSL coaches, Hunt was not to be denied. He just lost out to Maritzburg United’s Ian Palmer during the August/ September voting period but this time Hunt won by an overwhelming margin.
Judges took note of the fact that no coach collected more points during the voting period and Hunt oversaw a four match period where Matsatsantsa did not concede a goal.
“Hunt’s side has not only led the points tally, but has scored the most goals, with nine coming in four matches. They have conceded the least amount of goals as well, commented one of the judges.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens also received plaudits for keeping the Brazilians in the hunt for league honours, overseeing a period where they kept in touch with the pace setters, SuperSport United.
Neeskens turned Sundowns into one of the most ruthless outfits in the PSL and the second highest goal scoring team in the competition.
Another of the contenders during the last voting period, Gordon Igesund
of Moroka Swallows was credited for the Dube Birds’ recent revival in the PSL and finished with the third highest number of votes. Wits’ Roger de Sa and Roger Palmgren of Amazulu were also in the running.
Absa Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Happy Ntshingila, congratulated the respective winners. “Well done to all. This epitomises the competitive nature and spirit of the Absa Premiership. This competition always brings the best out of players and coaches and is one of the reasons why the Absa Premiership is one of the biggest and most lucrative tournaments on the African continent”.
PSL Acting CEO, Cambridge Mokanyane was also on hand to congratulate the top achievers for this period.
“I’m really encouraged by what I’ve seen in the Absa Premiership this season. The players have shown their hunger to go out there and do their best to succeed. As for the coaches, they too have shown their worth and in Ryan and Gavin we have seen these qualities in abundance,” said Mokanyane.