Premier Soccer League Player of the Season contenders

Romwald
Romwald
8 Min Read

As is often the case at this point in the season, the discussion around who will earn the prestigious Player of the Season award is heating up.

Last year, Teboho Mokoena from Mamelodi Sundowns edged out Orlando Pirates’ star Monnapule Saleng and his own teammate Ronwen Williams to claim the honor.

This set off a storm of controversy on social media and among fans, with many insisting that Pirates’ Saleng should have won over the relentless midfielder.

This year promises to be just as intense, with varying opinions already circulating on who should take home the big prize at the end of the season.

Mokoena is again in contention, this time with a new rival from the Pirates, Patrick Maswanganyi, and a familiar challenger in his teammate Williams.

However, there’s no certainty at this point that any of these front-runners will win the award, as some surprising names have recently emerged in the race.

We’re taking a look at some of these “underdogs” in the contest for this season’s Player of the Year award.

 

Teboho Mokoena

The ever-reliable Sundowns midfielder was the top winner last season, taking home both the Midfielder of the Season and the prestigious Player of the Season awards.

While his success was widely applauded, some believed the Player of the Season honor should have gone to Orlando Pirates’ Monnapule Saleng, who also had an exceptional season.

However, Mokoena has shown that last year’s accolades were no accident. He’s continued to deliver match-winning performances from the heart of the midfield for Sundowns.

He’s also demonstrated his quality on an international level with Bafana Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, where he was among the standout performers as the team secured third place.

 

Ronwen Williams

 

 

The Sundowns goalkeeper is back in the spotlight after narrowly missing out on the Player of the Season award to teammate Teboho Mokoena last year, despite a remarkable debut season with the Tshwane giants.

 

Having set records with his outstanding performances in goal, the former SuperSport United shot-stopper has continued his impressive form this season, demonstrating his reliability and skill.

 

His coach, Rhulani Mokwena, has described Williams as an “unorthodox frontrunner” for the award, praising his vital role in the team’s buildup play from the back.

 

Williams’ national team success at the recent Africa Cup of Nations, where he helped Bafana Bafana secure third place and earned the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, further boosts his chances of winning this season’s accolade.

 

 

Patrick Maswanganyi

 

 

When the 26-year-old joined Orlando Pirates from SuperSport United at the start of the season, there wasn’t much fanfare around the move, but he’s turned out to be a real gem.

 

‘Tito,’ as the skillful midfielder is affectionately called, has undeniably been one of the best signings this season, earning widespread praise for his performances.

 

He’s picked up an impressive nine Man of the Match awards across all competitions, illustrating his influence as he’s often the one orchestrating play in midfield.

 

His stats are equally impressive, with nine goals and ten assists this season, reinforcing his status as a key player for Pirates.

 

 

Tshegofatso Mabasa

 

 

Known as “The Sniper,” he may have begun the season as a peripheral figure at Orlando Pirates, but he’s now a crucial part of Jose Riveiro’s team.

 

Initially sent on loan to Moroka Swallows, a club grappling with difficulties, Mabasa still made his mark by showcasing his exceptional goal-scoring instincts.

 

Since returning to the Buccaneers, he’s taken on the role of primary goal-scorer, stepping in for the struggling Evidence Makgopa and Zakhele Lepasa.

 

With 13 goals to his name this season and a strong contention for the Golden Boot, Mabasa has proven his worth, making him a legitimate contender for the Player of the Season award.

 

 

Lucas Ribeiro

 

 

Despite this being his debut season in the Premier Soccer League, the Brazilian has adapted seamlessly to South African football, consistently demonstrating his skill and finesse whenever he has been fit to play for Sundowns.

 

For much of the season, Ribeiro led the league in scoring, but injuries disrupted his momentum, allowing players like Tshegofatso Mabasa and Iqraam Rayners to close the gap and, more recently, overtake him on the leaderboard.

 

 

Lehlohonolo Mojela

 

 

The TS Galaxy forward has had an impressive start in his debut season in the Premier Soccer League, quickly becoming a regular on coach Sead Ramovic’s team sheet.

 

The former Casric Stars player has scored four goals and contributed one assist in the league. Across all competitions, he has scored seven times for the Rockets this season.

 

Mojela almost helped the Rockets win the Carling Knockout Cup earlier this season, scoring in the final against Stellenbosch FC, although they eventually lost in a penalty shootout.

 

 

Iqraam Rayners

 

 

The speedy forward is turning heads, especially with his recent performances, scoring six times in just two Premier Soccer League matches, which catapulted him to the top of the PSL Golden Boot race.

 

Rayners is having an outstanding season with Stellenbosch FC, netting 13 league goals. He seems to be thriving back in the Winelands after a brief and challenging stint with SuperSport United in Gauteng.

 

His remarkable form this season has earned him a spot in Hugo Broos’ Bafana Bafana squad, and he’s now attracting attention from some of the country’s top clubs, with rumors linking him to Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.

 

 

 

Check Out: Mamelodi Sundowns Clinch Seventh Consecutive PSL Title with Win Over Kaizer Chiefs

 

Also See: Orlando Pirates Relegated from Premiership for First Time

 

Check Out: PSL Update: AmaZulu Miss Chance to Overtake Chiefs and Polokwane City Deal Blow to Spurs’ Survival Hopes

 

Check Out: Agent Talks Kaizer Chiefs’ Interest in Former Mamelodi Sundowns Midfielder Before PSL Transfer

 

 

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