Turn to page 6 and 7, where you will see the eight worthy nominees, and vote for your chance to win. I don’t want to say my favourite, for fear of influencing any voters, but I am hoping for a hard-fought competition. I am sure you, our Phakaaathi readers, will pick a worthy winner. Get voting and good luck!
Orlando Pirates don’t have any nominations for Player-of-the-Season, for obvious reasons – they have had a woeful campaign, and it is good to see that they have started to reinforce, with the signing of Thamsanqa Sangwni from Chippa United.
Sangweni appears to have been swept from under the noses of Bidvest Wits and should add some steel to a Buccaneers midfield that lacked guts this season.
For Wits, I do not think this is too much of a loss, as they already have an abundance of central midfielders to choose from. I really think Sangweni would have been a bit of a luxury purchase for the Clever Boys.
Pirates, meanwhile, badly need to buy in other areas if they are to improve next season, notably in defence, where they were a total disaster in 2016/17. Will Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza supply the funds required for a total overhaul? Only time will tell, but the signing of Sangweni is at least a start.
Pirates are still nowhere near having squads of the caliber of Wits or Mamelodi Sundowns, with the latter again showing their continental prowess in the Caf Champions League this weekend.
Masandawana looked in some danger of going out of the competition but with a superb win at St George have turned the tables and are now in the quarterfinals. Dennis Onyango reinforced his position as the best goalkeeper in African club football right now with a penalty save while Anthony Laffor is not exactly bursting with goals, but he does provide some key ones, especially in the Champions League.
Sundowns have toyed with danger at times in this year’s Champions League, notably in the qualifying round against KCCA of Uganda. But when it matters, they have found a way to get through, and that is a mark of champions.
The only problem for Pitso Mosimane is that he is already complaining about the amount of games that Sundowns have had to play of late, and now they are unlikely to get any respite.
Can they mount a challenge for the Premiership title if they are again heavily involved in the latter stages of the Champions League? It certainly had an effect in the 2016/17 season as they were left with so many games in hand to make up, and ultimately looked exhausted in the later stages of the domestic campaign.
If Sundowns can win a second successive Champions League title, however, they will certainly have a claim to being the best club side this country has ever produced. And that is some motivation to keep going, however tired your legs might be.
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