Malawian star forward Gabadinho Mhango has been nominated for the 2017 South African Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) MTN8 Last Man Standing Award.
Mhango, who top-scored with 11 goals to steer Bidvest Wits to the PSL championship and the MTN8 Cup, has earned the nomination alongside team mates, Daine Klate and Thulani Hlatshwayo.
The former Nyasa Big Bullets forward is the only one out of other Malawians in the PSL— Gerald Phiri Jnr, Robert Ngámbi (Platinum Stars), Limbikani Mzava (Golden Arrows), Atusaye Nyondo (Bloemfontein Celtic) and Esau Kanyenda (Polokwane City—to be shortlisted.
In an interview yesterday, the Flames player said he was motivated to scale greater heights in his PSL career.
“It is always the aim of every player to win some awards. At the end of your career when all is gone, you sit down and marvel at such souvenirs,” Mhango said.
He added that he received officially Wits’ top scorer award last week.
The PSL is expected to unveil the winners at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Monday. Overall, there are 12 categories each comprising three players.
Ngámbi was the last Malawian to win the MTN8 award a few years ago.
Mhango also earned South African football magazine Soccer Laduma’s player of the season award nomination and missed out marginally on a similar recognition by yet another publication, Kick-Off.
Mhango’s team mate Hlatshwayo has also been nominated for the best footballer award alongside Mamelodi Sundowns’ Hlompho Kekana and Lebogang Manyama (Cape Town City).
Manyama is also in line for the top scorer award whereas Wits’ Darren Keet, Ugandan Dennis Onyango and Shu-Aib Walters have been earmarked for best goalkeeper crown.
Absa Premiership defender of the season award has attracted the nominations of Hlatshwayo, Sifiso Hlanti and Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Kaizer Chiefs). Absa Premiership midfielder of the season nominees are Kekana, Thabang Monare (Wits) and Aubrey Ngoma (Cape Town City).
The best young player of the season section has Motjeka Madisha (Sundowns), Phakamani Mahlambi (Wits) and Nduduzo Sibiya (Golden Arrows) competing. There are also awards for players’ player of the season and Nedbank and Telkom Knock- Out Cup.
PSL spokesperson, Lux September, has since welcomed debate surrounding some of the nominees, saying it was healthy.
“Every time we make an announcement for the awards and there is a debate‚ that means people are listening and they are interested,” September told Kick-Off website.
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