Mark Gleeson

And the real choker is...

2012-05-28 10:48
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
The awards for individual achievement were handed out by the Premier Soccer League in Johannesburg on Sunday night, recognising the top players and officials of the season.

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There can be few quibbles with the winners and only delight with the bounty they took home. Some of the individual prizes are handsome indeed.

Most clubs these days also seem to have their own awards ceremony - already Bloemfontein Celtic, Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United are among those who have handed out club awards to their players.

There are many categories however not covered at the various award ceremonies and I will attempt here to try and highlight a few:

Siyabonga Sangweni added a classy and steely presence to an Orlando Pirates defence that had already proven its proficiency in winning the league the previous season. He played more games for Pirates than any other player as proof of how easily he fitted into the team.

Anthony Laffor cost an effective R5 million when he moved from SuperSport United to Sundowns in the January transfer window. But he played just five matches for his new club as they lost their grip on title in the second half at an effective R1 million per game. An alleged heel injury cost him playing time at the end of the season when Sundowns needed him most.

Sundowns were three points clear at the halfway point of the season and looking well set for the title after winning four of the five league matches before Xmas. But after the break, they drew six out of seven matches to effectively cede the leadership, even while the other contenders were also failing to put up consistent performances.

Sunday Chidzamba was fired as coach of Black Leopards just two months into the new season, the first casualty of the Premier Soccer League campaign. But by the end of the season he was back on the bench again, replacing the man who replaced him - Vladislav Heric. Things work in mysterious ways up north and the Leopards coaching job has been a poisoned chalice over the years.

Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Motaung jumping down the throat of SuperSport United general manager Jose Ferreira because he suggested that an extra R1 billion to both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates from Vodacom gave them the potential to dominate local football and turn it into a two-team league, like the boring predictability of the Rangers-Celtic duopoly in Scotland. The two club bosses wrote rambling tirades in response to an astute observation expressing concern that the rest of the clubs could become but a side show. Ferreira’s made a valid point but the way Khoza and Motaung reacted revealed an unnecessary touchiness and a growing intolerance with contrary opinions.

Thulani Serero was player of the season for the Premier Soccer League in the last campaign and Knowledge Musona top scorer. Both are youthful and talented, and left as the best two exports from the South African league for the big-time in Europe, effectively ambassadors for the talent that is available in the PSL. But the pair made no impact in their first season, with little playing time and no goals.

Isaac Chansa as a double winner with Zambia, at the African Nations Cup, and Pirates in the league would be a good choice but the most influential foreigner this season was Nigeria central defender Soriola Gege at Free State Stars. This is a player without much polish but his power forces fear from opposing strikers.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    psl  |  mark gleeson  |  soccer


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