Tower Mathoho rises into Goal South Africa Player of the Year 2014 nominees

Goal follows the rise of Kaizer Chiefs defender Eric 'Tower' Mathoho as one of the country's top defenders and a contender for the Goal SA Player of the Year

In the July 2012 transfer window, Kaizer Chiefs Marketing Director Jessica Motaung stunned a media briefing at the unveiling of the team's new signings, by revealing the number three shirt of the then in-demand Bloemfontein Celtic defender Mathoho.

How surprised the Amakhosi fans were when they thought Tower was on his way to Orlando Pirates?

Chiefs have since went all out to get their man, who at the time had just begin to establish himself as a Bafana Bafana starter.

Born in the Venda city of Thohoyandou, Mathoho started his football career with Dolphins FC in the amateur ranks in Polokwane, before being snapped up by Celtic in 2009, after impressing then coach Owen Da Gama during trials. He made his professional debut in a 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2009/10 season, thereby catching the eye of many, who dubbed his performance on the night as man of the match worthy.

"He was everything we looked for in a defender. Tall, strong in the air, a good tackler and pace, who for a player of his height is unbelievable. In short, he had the total package," said Clinton Larsen, who was assistant to Da Gama before taking over the reins himself in 2010 when the former departed in acromonious circumstances.

In Larsen's first season as head coach of Siwelele, Mathoho won eight man of the match awards in the Premiership, not only that, as a result they became one of the league's best defensive sides, along with Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates that very same season.

Joining Chiefs, he admitted was a dream come true after he was handed the number three jersey. He, along with other new boys in the team like Morgan Gould and Kingston Nkhatha just to mention a few at that time, and coach Stuart Baxter won the league and Cup double in their very first season with the Glamour Boys in 2012/13 season.

This season, the 24-year-old has played a predominant part in the Amakhosi winning the MTN8 in the early stage of the season after he played in four of the matches during the tournament, contributing to Chiefs winning the trophy without conceding a goal.

He has also been central to the 'Forever Fearless' boasting the top defence in the league, playing a big part in the team winning their opening eight matches in the Premiership.

Over and above and most importantly, he has become a key member and regular for the national team under Shakes Mashaba, and to date boasts 14 caps after playing in every single of the recent 2015 Afcon qualifiers.

You can vote for Mathoho for the Goal South Africa Player of the Year 2014 accolade, or any of the other four nominees here. The winner will be decided by this poll, and voting closes on Friday night.