Why Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane voted for a Pirates player

Absa Premiership Coach of the Season - Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns) during the Premier Soccer League 2017/2018 Awards evening at Sandton Convention Centre on May 29, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Absa Premiership Coach of the Season - Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns) during the Premier Soccer League 2017/2018 Awards evening at Sandton Convention Centre on May 29, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane went with an Orlando Pirates player for the Premier Soccer League’s Footballer of the Season award because rules did not allow him to vote for his first choice‚ Downs’ midfield star Hlompho Kekana.

Mosimane did not want to disclose the identity of the Pirates player he voted for. He said he hoped that Kekana will emerge victorious at the ceremony at Durban’s International Conference Centre on Sunday because the midfield star has been consistent in the league all season.

Kekana featured in 29 out of 20 matches for Sundowns in the Absa Premiership this season‚ where he scored four goals and contributed one assist from defensive midfield.

“You know I will always dedicate everything I win to Hlompho‚” said Mosimane‚ adding that he could not understand how Kekana had not also not won the Midfielder of the Season award previously.

“You can’t be nominated for five years in a row and always be pipped by a midfielder who pops up just for one year and the next year you don’t see that player who won against him.

“At 33‚ he played a large volume of matches [a staggering 51 in 2018-19] for us in all competitions with the same tempo‚ attitude and he deserves some credit. At the same time‚ I don’t to take anything away all the other midfielders who can also win something.

“We will dedicate the league championship to Hlompho because he doesn’t win these individual awards. He didn’t win the goal of the year when he scored from behind the centre line‚ but I know these things do happen.

“You remember [Baroka FC goalkeeper] Oscarine Masuluke went to London and he didn’t win [Fifa’s Puskas Award]. I don’t want to be controversial at this point in time‚ but somewhere‚ somehow the truth needs to be told.”

Pressed to reveal who he voted for‚ Mosimane did not want to disclose the name.

“I don’t want to say who I voted for but he is an Orlando Pirates player‚ he did very well‚ worked hard and scores goals unlike other players who dribble the whole day.

“But‚ my vote would have gone to Kekana if I was allowed to vote for my players and there is also Gaston Sirino who contributed many assists and goals for us.”

The coaches of the 16 PSL teams vote for the PSL’s Football of the Year award.

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