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Keepers – Raise Your Hands!

In this feature brought to you by DStv, iDiski Times looks at the first three individual award winners of the season.

Last week, the Premier Soccer League finally named this season’s first three winners of the DStv Premiership Player of the Month awards, and to many people’s surprise, all three players that were named were goalkeepers.

The trio were fully-deserving of their awards, and while there have been some sensational performances from outfield players in the DStv Premiership, they’ve actually come in the last few months.

Perhaps due to the announcements coming so long after the actual periods, some of the winners’ heroics may have slipped the mind. 

The first winner was TS Galaxy’s young goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi, who won for the month of August. 

Now, while Galaxy haven’t had the best of campaigns, they started the race by keeping clean sheets in their first five games and were undefeated in fifth position at the end of August – even beating Mamelodi Sundowns.

Other individuals who shone in the opening month were Sundowns’ Peter Shalulile, Royal AM’s Andre De Jong (before his move to Stellenbosch), AmaZulu’s Gabadinho Mhango, Stellenbosch’s Junior Mendieta and the Cape Town City pair of Khanyisa Mayo and Darwin Gonzalez.

But Buthelezi’s performances not only were deserving of that first month’s players’ award, they also earned him a call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad. Only injuries have robbed the 25-year-old from adding to his nine clean sheets this season and being part of the current Bafana squad.

For September/October the award went to Richards Bay shot-stopper Salim Magoola

The Natal Rich Boyz surprised all and sundry to find themselves second in the league at this point, and while their results came from strong team performances, Magoola was one of their standout figures.

His biggest rivals for the monthly award were probably Golden Arrows’ Pule Mmodi, who scored three goals in that period, or Iqraam Rayners who provided three assists for his then-SuperSport teammates. Rayners has since reunited with Steve Barker at Stellenbosch, scoring an incredible nine goals and setting up two more in just six games since his January move.

Magoola currently has the second most clean sheets in the league, with eleven in total.

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Finally, the PSL announced that Sundowns goalkeeper’ Ronwen Williams was the winner for December/January.

In that period the Bafana captain kept eight clean sheets, and in total, he has not conceded in 14 games!

While Downs’ teammates, Cassius Mailula and Teboho Mokoena or Orlando Pirates’ Monnapule Saleng might have also been contenders, it is hard to argue with the choice of Williams, who must be a leading contender for the Player of the Season.

The PSL also announced the winners of Coach of the Month for those three periods.

Orlando Pirates Spanish coach Jose Riveiro made a great start to his career in South Africa and was the winner for August.

After a rocky start to his return to SuperSport, Gavin Hunt showed his mettle and won for September/October.

Unsurprisingly, with their record-winning streak happening in that period, Sundowns’ Rulani Mokwena won for December/January.

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.