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COMMENT: The PSL should reward the real winners at their end-of-season awards

11:21 GMT+3 31/05/2018
Sundowns, Hlompho Kekana
The PSL should honour the real winners at their end-of-season if they want the awards to be considered credible

The Premier Soccer League held their end-of-season awards for the 2017/18 season on Tuesday, but not everyone who received the accolades deserved them. 

While the majority of the players who were nominated did well enough throughout the previous campaign to make the cut, the awards always should go to deserving individuals. 

For instance, Hlompho Kekana has been a consistent performer for Mamelodi Sundowns over the past five years of Pitso Mosimane's reign, but he continues to be overlooked for the major individiual awards. 

Firstly, the Goal of the Season award should never be voted for by the public. The fact that Siphelele Magubane's goal won over Kekana's half-way strike against Orlando Pirates means our league is doing something wrong.

This also happened two seasons ago when Siphiwe Tshabalala's goal against SuperSport United beat Oscarine Masuluke's overhead kick to the similar award. 

It was until Masuluke got recognition from Fifa for the Puskas award after his goal made the top 10 list in the world that South Africans started asking questions about being snubbed at the PSL awards. 

In all honesty, whenever fans are allowed to vote, there will always be controversies and disagreements, but for argument sake, let's say Magubane's goal deserved to win in this year's awards, now what raises the eyebrows even more is whether or not Golden Arrows fans outvoted both Sundowns and Pirates fans for Kekana and Justin Shonga's goals respectively.  

Perhaps the PSL should set out a clear criterion used to nominate and honour players to avoid confusion and controversy as this has been the case over the past few seasons.

Take nothing away from the winners on the night, but some awards should have been shared among the players given their contribution to their respective teams.

A player like Musa Nyatama deserved something from the end-of-season awards. I mean, he collected no less than six man of the match awards in the league throughout the previous campaign. 

The Midfielder of the Season award could have easily gone to him. He was also supposed to be nominated for the Footballer of the Year award, but he was snubbed. 

Siphesihle Ndlovu was fantastic for Maritzburg United and he should be lauded for what he has achieved in a short period of time.

He's young and he's a marvel to watch, and it's encouraging to see young players take the PSL by storm the way he did, but perhaps just the Young Player of the Season accolade should have been more appropriate at this stage of his career. 

And besides, we're are talking about a player whose team finished fourth on the log standings, two and three places behind Pirates and Sundowns respectively. 

Lastly, what was shocking from this year's awards was the omission of Free State Stars players from the nominees even after they won the Nedbank Cup. 

If the MTN8 Last Man Standing award winner came from SuperSport United, and the Telkom Knockout Cup Player of the Tournament came from Bidvest Wits, then how do you explain the absence of Free State Stars players for the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament award? 

Not even a single player from the winning team was good enough to crack the nod, even their goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni despite some heroic performances for the club throughout the tournament? 

It makes a mockery of the awards, and clearly a case of 'in the presence of the best, the worst becomes the best' when it should be the other way around. 

We're all hoping to see the real winners being recognised by the league to keep the level of motivation high among the players, and that could perhaps go a long way in improving the standard of football in the country.