Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena reveals his candidates for Player of the Season Award

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Cassius Mailula & Rhulani Mokwena of Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena believes he has up to five potential Player of the Year candidates within his squad.
  • Mokwena singled out five players in his squad
  • Sundowns coach feels the five deserve recognition
  • The Brazilians are challenging in three competitions

WHAT HAPPENED? Mokwena named goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, midfielders Themba Zwane and Teboho Mokoena, forwards Peter Shalulile as well Cassius Mailula as those who have shown a high level of consistency that should see them in the conversation for the Player of the Season Award.

The Sundowns tactician was named Coach of the Month for January and February, with Williams winning the Player’s accolade, but he feels the individual recognition is a reflection of the contribution of everyone to the team’s course.

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Mokwena has warned his players against focusing on individual awards lest they derail their goals for team trophies as they challenge on three fronts, inching closer to a sixth straight PSL title, leading their Champion’s League group, while in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup.

Sundowns won all their eight league games in January and February, scoring 11 goals while conceding just once, in a period which they kept six clean sheets. Mokwena wants them to maintain that level of consistency and individual and team accolades will follow at the end of the season.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “If you look at how difficult that period [January and February] was, playing eight games against very good sides with Pirates with Chiefs, SuperSport in that space, Richards Bay and the players showed they have the grit,” said Mokwena.

“Ronwen was one of the players and because of the recognition we have to give him praise but I would always say it is a team sport he doesn’t train alone.

“Iron sharpens iron and so the goalkeeper coach, the rest of the goalkeepers who push him; Dennis [Onyango], Kennedy [Mweene], Reyaad [Pieterse] they work very hard to compete for the No1 jersey and then of course, the team plays together with build-ups, pressing situations so as a reflection of the team is good.

“We speak about the footballer of the season and to be a footballer of the season you have to maintain a certain level of consistency and this is what Ronwen has shown but a lot of players have shown, Themba Zwane has shown this level of consistency, Teboho Mokoena, Peter Shalulile, Cassius [Mailula] and so many.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Shalulile and Mailula have been touted as Player of the Season candidates alongside Orlando Pirates winger Monnapule Saleng, having scored 11 and nine league goals respectively.

Sundowns have also been untouchable this season, going unbeaten since September 2, and had recorded 15 straight league wins before drawing against Stellenbosch FC two weeks ago.

WHAT’S NEXT? The Brazilians are in Sudan ahead of Saturday’s Caf Champions League return leg match against Al-Hilal.