Tau recog­nised for his tal­ent and abil­ity

Pretoria News Weekend - - SPORT - MAZOLA MOLEFE

POLOK­WANE: A Sene­galese jour­nal­ist who was in the coun­try this week to watch his na­tive coun­try clash with Bafana Bafana at the Peter Mok­aba Stadium last night only viewed one player as a threat – Percy Tau.

It sim­ply means we shouldn’t un­der­es­ti­mate the pres­tige that comes with con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball, the Mamelodi Sun­downs mid­fielder hav­ing been in­stru­men­tal in help­ing the Brazil­ians claim their first ever CAF Cham­pi­ons League title a little over a year ago when they beat Za­malek over two legs.

Tau’s form there has earned him a nom­i­na­tion in the cat­e­gory of the best African-based Player of the Year, where win­ners will be an­nounced in Ac­cra, Ghana in Jan­uary.

For now, he looks for­ward to an­other top honour as one of the con­tenders for the SA Sports Star of the Year award to­mor­row night. Al­though he will not be able to at­tend as Bafana fly out to Dakar for the re­turn leg of their World Cup qual­i­fier against Sene­gal, Tau is hope­ful.

“I think it’s great to be recog­nised,” he said this week.

“I am very hon­oured and I am proud. I al­ways say it is a re­flec­tion of how well we have done at Sun­downs and the na­tional team. The CAF nom­i­nee is also big news for me. It’s an­other honour for me to be there. An­other pos­i­tive re­flec­tion of South African foot­ball.”

Tau’s ri­vals for the Sports Stars of the Year ac­co­lade have also done in­cred­i­bly well in their re­spec­tive codes.

Lu­vuyo Many­onga, Wayde van Niek­erk and Caster Se­menya were all gold medal win­ners at this year’s Ath­let­ics World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don, while Bon­gani Tete is a box­ing ban­tamweight cham­pion.

“It’s good to see my name among stars,” said Tau.

“I don’t know if this is my best sea­son yet. It’s just a sea­son of progress, where I am see­ing re­sults. I am grate­ful to be nom­i­nated, but I would have loved to win the Cham­pi­ons League again (Sun­downs were not able to de­fend their title this year af­ter their elim­i­na­tion in the quar­ter­fi­nal phase).

“I can add this to the list of things that a foot­baller has achieved.”

Tau, 23, has also been hu­mil­ity per­son­i­fied and was re­luc­tant to give a mes­sage to in­spire those who one day want to be like him, as the ques­tion was posed.

“I have a long way be­fore I can give mes­sages,” he said with a smile.

“What I can say now is to listen to your par­ents. The par­ents shape you, and give you a cer­tain char­ac­ter that is needed. I feel you also have to re­spect the game be­cause you will get it back.

“It is al­ways good to work with some­one who re­spects you. Oh, and ed­u­ca­tion is also ex­tremely im­por­tant.”


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