WITH the ensuing controversy over who should have been nominated and who should have won at the Premier Soccer League awards at the Sandton Convention Centre on Sunday, we figured it would be as good a time as any to announce our own prestigious winners’ list.
Now given the prominence of our own annual awards here at Business Day, it was to be expected that all the nominees would be fighting to attract the attention of the hard-to-please nomination panel.
THE EISH AWARD:
There were a few contenders but they were all edged out by rather determined Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa after his outrageous retort in Durban on Saturday. Instead of celebrating Pirates’ triumph over Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup final, our man Meyiwa used the opportunity to direct a well-timed retort at Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund and the journalists who submitted nominations for the goalkeeper-of-the-season award at the Absa premiership year-end function on Sunday night.
Meyiwa said, among other things, there is no fairness in South African football because he desperately wanted to be part of the Bafana squad that will travel Down Under to play friendlies against Australia and New Zealand next week.
Crazy thing is Meyiwa was called up as a last-minute replacement to Bafana No1 Itumeleng Khune on Tuesday and it would have been fun to see him sheepishly joining the national team at OR Tambo.
He should kick himself for speaking too soon, because he will now come face to face with the very people he accused of bias only a few days ago. Eish Senzo, eish.
MOST ENTERTAINING COACHES:
Few can work an audience as skillfully as Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane and his Chippa United counterpart Steve Komphela. So impressive are their talents in front of a microphone that their press conferences have become larger-than-life events that would draw a crowd even if they charged a fee for the privilege of watching them in action.
Both have enough in their oratory bag of tricks to reduce even world-renowned motormouths Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger to tears given the chance. Very little separated the two South Africans this season, but Mosimane gets the nod ahead of Komphela by virtue of putting his money where his mouth is after leading Sundowns to the Absa premiership title.
THE MOSES PARTING THE RED SEA AWARD:
It is not hard to imagine that Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques and Free State Stars’ Kinnah Phiri had their doctors on speed dial in the final weeks of the premiership season.
Heck, such was the strain of those final weeks that a Moroka Swallows fan I’ve known for many years lost so much weight that he was suddenly wearing suits he hasn’t been able to squeeze himself into in many moons.
Marques was understandably emotional after he’d managed to get the Birds to calmer waters and I imagine he’d be the first to agree that miracles do happen in football.
THE UNCANNY ABILITY TO ATTRACT CONTROVERSY UNNECESSARILY AWARD:
Instead of celebrating Chippa United’s promotion back to the domestic top flight, we’ve been bombarded by a series of negative stories that have sent us into a tailspin.
The botched move to Port Elizabeth was poorly handled and owner Chippa Mpengesi should have kept a lid on things until it was safe to go public.
And now as things turn out, we hear that Maritzburg United will be moving to Port Elizabeth on a R36 m three-year deal instead. What in the world really happened there!
And then there is the signing of coach Komphela from the selfsame Maritzburg United. That should also have been done far more discreetly and details should have been kept under wraps until all the loose strings had been sorted out.
Instead, the whole thing is playing out in the media like a doomed romance in a Brazilian soap opera. Here’s hoping they will get their act together because Cape Town desperately needs them to be focused next season.