21.5.2019 10:50 am
Awards will, by their nature, stir debate, with some insisting that the trophy went to the wrong nominee, or indeed that the rightful winner was not nominated at all.
However, in general, I think the PSL Awards on Sunday night picked the right winners, with Thembinkosi Lorch the star of the show, walking home with the Players Player-of-the-Season and Footballer-of-the-Season awards. Lorch had an amazing campaign in a Buccaneers shirt and it matters not a jot that Pirates ended the campaign without silverware. We saw a similar instance in England this season, with Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk grabbing the PFA Player-of-the-Season Award, even though it was Manchester City that ended up winning the English Premier League title.
Yesterday (Monday) was another tragic day in South African football, as it emerged that Free State Stars midfielder Sinethemba Jantjie had died in a car crash in the morning.
It is to Bafana Bafana’s immense credit that they faced, on Sunday, many of the cliched pitfalls of playing away on the African continent, and still qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The last time Bafana Bafana played a competitive match in Tunisia was in 2004, when Styles Phumo took charge of a pretty woeful campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Stuart Baxter must hope his Bidvest Wits Bafana Bafana defenders show their international form, and not their current club form if and when they take to the field for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya in Sfax, Tunisia on March 24.
McCarthy’s continuous ruling out of his own side as title challengers reminds me a bit of Jose Mourinho, when he referred to Chelsea as a “little horse” in the race for the 2013/14 English Premier League title with Manchester City and Liverpool.
This could be a pivotal week in the race for the Absa Premiership, with Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates both involved in midweek action, before Saturday’s showdown sees a meeting of Masandawana and table-topping Bidvest Wits, while the Buccaneers are at home to AmaZulu.
The atmosphere at Saturday’s Soweto derby was scintillating, the sun was shining gloriously, and it was all set up to be a cracker of a match too.
With Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates both crashing out of the Nedbank Cup over the weekend, there is an argument that both might just be better off, with the Absa Premiership title and the Caf Champions League to fight for.
Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates as the standard- bearers for South Africa on the continent is becoming a theme, and it has to be an embarrassment of sorts for Kaizer Chiefs.
Phil Masinga left an indelible mark on the game in this country, indeed all over the world, emphasised by the tributes that have been pouring in from across the globe since his untimely passing on Sunday morning.
After almost 20 years covering the Premier Soccer League and Bafana Bafana it is all too easy to get a bit cynical about the game in SA.
And so, another year in South African football is nearly over, with just a smattering of Absa Premiership matches and continental club clashes left to play, before we can all take a brief festive break.