Johannesburg - Absa Premiership log leaders Kaizer Chiefs were recognised for their consistency throughout the third quarter of the season as goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and head coach Stuart Baxter were named the Absa Premiership Player and Coach of Quarter 3 on Monday.
According to the supersport.com website, Baxter has led Kaizer Chiefs through an impressive period in Q3 as the Amakhosi collected 18 points from the 8 matches played. Chiefs were however pushed all the way by a resurgent Moroka Swallows outfit who amassed 17 points from the 8 matches.
After much deliberation the judging panel decided that Baxter had done enough to be named Absa Premiership Coach of Q3 winning R15 000 for his efforts.
Absa Sponsorship Manager Steward Masela highlighted Kaizer Chiefs consistency when the winners were announced saying, “Consistency deserves to be rewarded and that’s why I congratulate both Itumeleng Khune and Stuart Baxter on winning the Absa Premiership Player and Coach of Q3. We now look forward to an eagerly anticipated Q4.”
The name of Swallows coach Zeca Marques was also discussed at length, where many of the judges in attendance believed Marques deserved to be recognised for turning around the fortunes of the Beautiful Birds. Moroka Swallows finished Q2 bottom of the Absa Premiership standings having collected a solitary point.
The judging panel felt Marques should be commended for guiding the club into the upper half of the Absa Premiership table with ambitions of a top four finish very much on the agenda. Also receiving notable mentions were Clive Barker for the role he has played at Bidvest Wits and Craig Rosslee for steering AmaZulu away from the dreaded relegation zone.
Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune scooped the R15 000 for winning the Absa Premiership Player of Q3 and was largely recognised by the judging panel for being the standout performer. Khune was instrumental in the successful run Kaizer Chiefs put together and the club kept four clean-sheets and conceding just four times, out of the eight matches played.
Judges felt Khune played a dual role for his team, not only through his performances in goal, but he also set up a number of attacks through his distribution. .
The judging panel discussed a number of players through the session with Khune’s teammate Siphiwe Tshabalala featuring regularly. Tshabalala was commended for his resurgence in form and versatility and for playing a vital role for the club this season.
Free State Stars midfielder Luyolo Nomandela and Moroka Swallows recent acquisition Larry Cohen also received mentions for their contributions throughout Q3.