I'm sure whoever wins Footballer of the Season will be from Sundowns: Mokwena

28 February 2023 - 16:19
By SITHEMBISO DINDI
Rulani Mokwena, head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, thinks his team is in it to win it.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Rulani Mokwena, head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, thinks his team is in it to win it.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena is confident Premier Soccer League (PSL) Footballer of the Season will again be won by one of his players.

Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile took home the award last season after he set the scoring chart alight, ending with 23 goals in the DStv Premiership.

Speculation on who will take the award for 2022-23 has been rife as the season entered its final third.

A few names thrown about include Sundowns' trio of goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, midfielder Teboho Mokoena and scoring wunderkind Cassius Mailula. Orlando Pirates attacking star Monnapule Saleng has also been branded a real contender.

Goalkeeper of less-fancied Richards Bay FC Salim Magoola has had a strong season with the premiership rookies and played a pivotal role in keeping them in the top four.

Mokwena believes no player from a rival team has matched the performances by Sundowns stars.

“If it was up to me, I would give them [Sundowns players] all player of the year,” he said.

“I think the players have been magnificent and I’ve said it in every press conference — the game of football belongs to the players.

“Whoever is [Footballer of the Season], I’m sure they will come from the Sundowns squad because I think there hasn’t been anyone who performed beyond the levels the Sundowns players have performed at.

“It’s going to be difficult, and fortunately I’m not one of the judges, because a lot of the Sundowns players have been exceptional and extremely consistent ... ”

Downs are the runaway leaders of the Premiership with 55 points, 19 clear of second-placed SuperSport United (36).

In his first season at Downs, who he joined from SuperSport in June, Bafana Bafana captain Williams not only quickly established himself as the Brazilians' No 1, but also fitted into their set-up like a glove.

He has kept 14 league clean sheets from 22 matches in all domestic competitions and conceded only nine times.

Magoola, who has also featured in 22 games in all competitions, has 11 clean sheets in the league.

Saleng, who helped Pirates win the MTN8, has played 17 games in all competitions and scored nine times, assisting on four occasions.

Mailula has scored seven times in 13 domestic games. He has three assists. 

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