Thrills and spills of an ex­cit­ing sea­son

Some of the big­gest mo­ments that de­fined the beau­ti­ful game

Sunday World - - World Of Sport - MA­ZOLA MOLEFE, RA­MAT­SIYI MO­HOLOA AND MARC STRY­DOM

PLAYER of the sea­son: Alje Schut of Mamelodi Sun­downs.

The at­tack­ers lost their spark mid­way through the sea­son, so a de­fender wins it.

Cap­tain Schut showed lead­er­ship in a side who were un­der pres­sure to end a drought and his ef­forts spared loud­mouth coach Pitso Mosi­mane’s blushes. The big Dutch cen­tre back was the most con­sis­tent player this the sea­son.

Gripe of the sea­son: How the hell did Khethok­wakhe Ma­suku slip past Pi­rates of­fi­cials with his branded head­phones on his way to the bench af­ter be­ing sub­sti­tuted at half­time in the Ned­bank Cup game against San­tos?

A close sec­ond must be then-Free State Stars coach Steve Kom­phela’s com­ment that ref­eree Vic­tor Gomes “wanted to take free kicks and throw them in the net” against Su­pers­port United.

Miss of the sea­son: Kaizer Chiefs and Or­lando Pi­rates play­ers in their at­tempted brawl dur­ing the derby at FNB Sta­dium on Oc­to­ber 26. You would have thought Amakhosi mid­fielder Wil­lard Kat­sande would be ag­gres­sive in a fight. It was lip­stick and hand­bag stuff.

Quote of the sea­son: “I’ve seen it writ­ten in the me­dia that I should have in­ter­vened ear­lier. Be­lieve me, if I were in­ter­ven­ing and try­ing to keep things calm at train­ing ev­ery ses­sion, then I would be liv­ing in Wil­lard Kat­sande’s shorts.” – Chiefs coach Stu­art Bax­ter on a bust-up be­tween Bernard Parker and Lehlo­honolo Ma­joro.

Game of the sea­son: Telkom Knockout – Mpumalanga Black Aces 1 Or­lando Pi­rates 3, Mbombela Sta­dium, Oc­to­ber 8.

Aces gave an in­sight into things to come as Clive Barker’s men threat­ened to tear Roger de Sa’s Pi­rates apart in a first half where the Buc­ca­neers were for­tu­nate to come out at a goal apiece. Pi­rates showed their class in the sec­ond half to win 3-1 through late goals by Len­nox Bacela and Oupa Many­isa.

Sign­ing of the sea­son: Gabad­inho Mhango of Bloem­fontein Celtic.

Had he ar­rived ear­lier, Celtic might have fin­ished higher up the Pre­mier­ship ta­ble than sixth and coach Ernst Mid­den­dorp might have gone a full sea­son with­out swear­ing. But who are we kid­ding? The Malaw­ian striker, who runs at de­fences from all an­gles and scores breath­tak­ing goals, is a nom­i­nee for young player of the sea­son.

Keep an eye on… Kea­gan Dolly of Ajax Cape Town. This young man has the silky skills and a tech­ni­cal and cross­ing abil­ity rem­i­nis­cent of Stan­ton Fred­er­icks, Daine Klate or even Steven Pien­aar. It’s easy to see Dolly (21) be­com­ing an in­stant hit if he moves from the Mother City dur­ing the trans­fer win­dow.

Some things we learnt…

First, that South African strik­ers and ref­er­ees are hope­less. It was a sea­son that was more miss than hit for the strik­ers, as Parker top-scored with 10 goals. And the ref­er­ees made far too many mis­takes.

We also learnt that Mid­den­dorp and Gomes, who handed out a record 11 penal­ties in four games, are un­sta­ble.

And, that you can buy a whole new team and win the Pre­mier­ship, and our soc­cer sta­di­ums will not be full. Coach of the sea­son: Mosi­mane. Yes, the coach who bought a whole new team and won the cham­pi­onship. Oth­ers with com­pli­cated Euro­pean names have tried be­fore him and failed. He also wins this award be­cause it was worth at­tend­ing Downs games just to hear his epic quotes

Most con­tro­ver­sial mo­ment: Gomes’s five-penalty cir­cus in Sun­downs ’ 3-2 win over Ajax Cape Town at Lof­tus in Fe­bru­ary. Mr Ref went on to hand out a fur­ther six penal­ties in his next three games. We’ve never heard of a pro­lific ref­eree, but Gomes bucks that trend.

THE MAN: Aljie Schut of Mamelodi Sun­downs did a lot for his tea­mand his coach's ego, all in one go. Pic­ture: Back­pagePix

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