John Maduka scoops Coach of the Month award
By Benjamin Nyirenda, contributor, South Africa:
Former Malawi National Football Team captain John Maduka’s efforts in the South Africa DStv Premiership have finally been recognised after he was awarded the Coach-of-the-Month accolade for February-March.
This is the first accolade for Maduka, who has been head coach in the South African elite league since July 2020, when he was entrusted with the top job at Bloemfontein Celtic.
Maduka, who is in charge at Royal AM, beat Marumo Gallants’ Dan Malesela, Eric Tinkler of Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena.
A panel of experts, including football journalists, television broadcasters and other experts adjudicated the award.
The award follows Royal’s impressive performance which saw the team picking 11 points from five games between February 7 and March 20.
The period started with Royal’s 1-0 win over Sekhukhune United before a 2-2 stalemate with Chippa United.
This was followed by an impressive 2-0 victory at SuperSport United in February.
In March, Maduka’s side beat Swallows 1-0 and earned another 2-2 draw at Stellenbosch. Royal kept three clean sheets during this period.
The judges commented: “Maduka has done incredibly well to get the team to be competitive after their relocation and change of ownership. That fact that Royal AM are still part of the chasing pack behind log leaders Sundowns at this stage of the season is proof of the great work he and his technical team have been doing.
“He sets up his team to play a positive style of football and their never-say-die attitude makes them an exciting team to watch. The manner in which he has been able to integrate players that joined Royal in the festive break has been impressive.”
The award comes with a R10,000 cash reward (about K670,000).
Maduka said he felt honoured to win the award at the expense of top coaches in South Africa.
“The nomination itself was as good as winning and having to finally win the award is a great honour. Look at the coaches who were nominated! They are all very great coaches and to come out as a winner is a cherry on top. I have to thank my technical team, players, management and, above all, the chairlady for supporting me and always being there for the team.
“We couldn’t achieve all this if it was not for her. We will continue to fight until the end of the season to achieve our goals of maintaining our status in the league and finish as high as we can this season,” he said.
One of Maduka’s players, Mxolisi Macuphu, joined him on stage at the monthly awards ceremony in Durban yesterday to receive an award for the DStv Premiership Player-of-the-Month award for the same period.