‘Applauds for SA soccer’-Clive Barker

The ABSA Premiership League/Cup competitions have run their course. Orlando Pirates and Supersport United won their respective titles. Moroka Swallows pushed the Buccaneers all the way to the wire.

The most improved team in the league Swallows were coached by legendary, Gordon Igusend. The Durban born Igesund celebrated with his team when the final whistle went only to be cruelly informed that the boys in black and white had beaten Lamontville Golden Arrows 4-2.

The PSL awards were announced on Sunday with Siyabonga ‘Bhele’ Nomvete being rightly voted the Footballer of the Year. Like wine he gets better as he gets older. There is no substitute for class, and Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane was right in selecting the talented striker for the upcoming international friendly against Ethiopia. What Pitso must do is to have the conviction to play him from the beginning of the match and not bring him off the bench. Gordon Igesund let him play off the cuff and he rewarded his coach with a consistent performance throughout the season.

Talking of coaches it was good to see the talented manager/coach win the Coach of the Year Award. He is able to turn average teams into good teams. I wonder if Gavin Hunt/Gordon Igesund had been given the chance to coach the big three Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns or Orlando Pirates how many league titles they would have won. This just endorses how good our local coaches are.

AmaZulu achieved the much sought after top eight position. It has certainly been a long season for the boys in green and white and coach Roger Palmgren and his technical staff must be commended for guiding the Usuthu to 7th position. Congratulations to University of Pretoria for gaining automatic promotion into the PSL after many years of hard work. The play offs for another place in the big league got off to the worst possible start.

There has been a postponement to the match between Blackburn Rovers and Dynamos over player registrations. Let’s hope this doesn’t get messy and derail the image of the beautiful game. Neighbours Thanda Royal Zulu unfortunately got off to a disastrous start also when they lost 1-0 against Santos in front of their home crowd. The Richards Bay based team will have a hard task in their return leg to overturn this result in Cape Town. It will be interesting to see how this ends up.

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