There’s always going to be discussion points every time the PSL Awards are announced.
It is usually around the PSL Footballer of the Year, an award that has been rather complicated for the average football fan while the media will always have their opinions.
From the very first time after the 2007–08 season when it was handed to Teko Modise, there was an uproar.
The award is supposed to go to the best player in all domestic competitions. Orlando Pirates didn’t have a good season.
They finished eighth and were knocked out of the round of 32 in the Nedbank Cup, plus they didn’t make it out of the first round of the Telkom Knockout and were the losing finalists of the MTN8.
It’s been a hot topic ever since, but there have been some seasons when the choices were obvious.
The PSL’s best player award was not the hot topic this time around, as it went to a deserving player in Peter Shalulile.
The Namibian striker has been on fire for Mamelodi Sundowns in this past season since his transfer from Highlands Park.
He also walked away with the Players’ Player of the Season award in a season in which he scored 15 league goals.
Teammates Denis Onyango and Themba Zwane walked away with the Goalkeeper and Midfielder of the Season honours, while Moroka Swallows’ Njabulo Ngcobo was named the Defender of the Season.
Baroka FC’s Evidence Makgoba was named the Young Player of the Season award, while Bradley Grobler finally claimed the Top Goalscorer prize with 16 strikes.
There was, however, controversy when Benni McCarthy was named Coach of the Season.
It’s an honour that is generally given to the coach that wins the league championship, but there were many instances when the award was won by a coach without winning the league title.
The general mood is that the judges were sympathetic to McCarthy’s “limited” resources and relegation position of the team when he took over.
Not much has been said about the other nominee Mandla Ncikazi, who had an even tighter budget and an even less-experienced squad to work with, compared to AmaZulu’s McCarthy.
The other nominees were Sundowns’ title-winning duo Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena, who supposedly had it easier than the other nominees.
We all know about Sundowns’ millions, but surely it can’t be easy to be in charge at such a club.
The Brazilians delivered the league title comfortably with a few games to spare, surely that should count for something?
AmaZulu were taken over by multi-millionaire Sandile Zungu during the off-season last year and had injected their squad with a number of big-name players on loan.
If judges chose to be sympathetic to Usuthu’s situation, then Ncikazi’s Arrows should have a serious case after finish fourth, only seven points behind their neighbours.
Nothing wrong with Benni winning the award because he is an outstanding sports personality who will take such an honour to even greater heights.