Flames striker Gabadihno Mhango was the surprise exclusion in the South African Football Journalists Association (SAFJA) inaugural player of the season award.
Mhango enjoyed a successful debut at Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and finished as the league’s joint top goal-scorer with 16 goals alongside Namibian striker Peter Shalulile.
But surprisingly SAFJA, a grouping of prominent journalists has excluded the former Nyasa Big Bullets star despite his good record last season.
The group announced yesterday that Mamelodi Sundowns attacking midfielder Themba Zwane was the winner beating other four contenders.
Sundowns captain Mlompho Kekana, Kaizer Chiefs duo Samir Nurkovic and Lebohang Manyama and Shalulile were nominated for the award.
Mhango made history by becoming the first Malawian to win the PSL golden boot award and also the third Pirates to win it after late Lesley Manyathela and late Dennis Lota.
However, South Africa- based Malawian football journalist, Benjamin Nyirenda said he was surprised with Mhango’s exclusion.
“It is really surprising that Mhango could not be part of this nominated five. Gaba and Shalulile both scored 16 goals in the just ended season and he helped Pirates finish third. That just shows how good he was in the last season. I am not really sure what criteria they used to reach at this list of nominees. It’s really confusing. That Nurkovic is in but Gaba is out,” he said.
In the just ended season, Mhango wins the player of the month award and goal of the month for January this year.
Mhango helped Pirates to finish on third position and also qualified for Caf Confederations Cup.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic striker joined Pirates after spending three seasons at Bidvest Wits.