Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Alje Schut believes Teko Modise put his final stamp of authority on a memorable Premiership season by scoring a superb goal against SuperSport United on Tuesday.
Modise scored the second goal of the night as the Brazilians secured their first league title in seven years with a brilliant chip over goalkeeper Ronwen Williams’s head from 28 metres out.
The goal, Modise’s sixth of the season, left Schut in no doubt that the midfielder was in line for a third Footballer of the Season award at the annual Premier Soccer League awards at the end of the season.
"It was an amazing goal from Teko. If there is still any doubt who is player of the season, for me, it’s very obvious that Teko is the player of the season," Schut said after Downs wrapped up the championship at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
"It’s amazing how he plays and it’s an honour to play with him.
"For me, he was by far the best player in the season. If you see the transformation he made from a number 10 who wanted to give the nice pass, to a box-to-box player who carries the team."
Modise has enjoyed a superb season under coach Pitso Mosimane, who seems to have rejuvenated the playmaker’s career and in the process, Modise has put himself in contention for a major award at the end of the campaign.
"Teko has been fortunate and he’s been blessed in football, he can retire very well, he’s played football at his best," Mosimane said of Modise before Tuesday’s triumph over United.
"Teko is always in top shape, he’s in top condition and sometimes we don’t give him credit for that."
The 31-year-old began his career in the country’s top-tier at SuperSport United in 2006, before moving on to Orlando Pirates, where he was named Footballer of the Year in 2008 and 2009.
Despite a stellar career in which Modise has earned over 50 caps for Bafana Bafana, appearing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2009 Confederations Cup and numerous World Cup qualifiers between 2007 and 2012, Modise had never lifted a Premiership title before now.
Team-mate Surprise Moriri, who acted as somewhat of a mentor for Modise this season, said he was proud of his fellow midfielder’s performance and praised Modise for the hard work he put in.
"It was very interesting to see Teko, to come from the beginning of the season, where he was not featuring, but he didn’t drop his head," Moriri said.
"He did well for himself and he helped the team. He contributed massively to the success of our team, as has everybody in the team."