Soccer

4 players that could be this year's PSL Player of the Season

As the PSL season nears its end, we highlight the quartet who sparkled during the campaign

07 April 2019 - 00:06 By SAZI HADEBE


Football spectators have been left gasping for air after witnessing some sterling performances this season.
Below we present the four players we believe have been in top form and are in strong contention to succeed Percy Tau as the Absa Premiership's Player of the Season.
LEBOHANG MABOE (SUNDOWNS)
PLAYED: 22 GOALS: 8 ASSISTS: 5
Having spotted his energy and amazing stamina that sees him tear at defenders throughout the match, Pitso Mosimane has deployed Maboe more as a focal point of his attack where he's contributed immensely to the cause of the Chloorkop-based club.
In the absence of injured Sibusiso Vilakazi, the ill-tempered but vastly talented Guston Sirino and misfiring striker Jeremy Brockie, Mosimane has come to rely more and more on Maboe for goals as the Brazilians gun for their ninth league title.
Not many players would move from a small PSL team to continental giants like Mamelodi Sundowns and seamlessly continue to strut their stuff.
In his maiden season at Sundowns, Maboe has blossomed under Mosimane, dishing out remarkably consistent performances while being played as a striker - a position he didn't quite feature in at Maritzburg.
When Maboe moved to Sundowns from Maritzburg United last season everybody knew the 24-year-old attacking player was pregnant with potential.
After all, he is the son of a former SA professional footballer, Sidwell Maboe - he's got football running in his veins, and perhaps blessed with a better pedigree than his father.
All the signs of the greater things to come were there for all to see at the end of last season when Maboe walked away with a R150,000 cheque for Player of the Tournament and R50,000 for Most Promising Player in the Nedbank Cup, a trophy United lost in the final to Free State Stars.
Even with six matches to go, the Player of the Season gong looks destined for one of the gifted players at Sundowns, Maboe.
MWAPE MUSONDA (BLACK LEOPARDS)
PLAYED: 20 GOALS: 12 ASSISTS: 0
It is unusual for a player featuring in a team flirting with relegation all season to be associated with the Player of the Season award. Mwape Musonda is that player.
It would never be easy to ignore Musonda's efforts at Black Leopards, especially with his goals constantly reminding everyone of his killer instinct.
The former Orlando Pirates striker thrives on good passes and pounces on them with lethal effect. Once he gains possession near the area he shoots to kill, something he has done with greater successes in this campaign.
Musonda is the sole scorer of a hat-trick this season, hammered in Lidoda Duvha's 3-2 home win over Chippa United in March. The last player to achieve the feat was Rhulani Manzini, who netted three for Chippa against SuperSport United towards the end of the 2016-17 season.
It is without doubt that Musonda's goals have kept his team just above the relegation quagmire, and should they survive, Leopards bosses will have their hands full trying to keep him in Limpopo next season.
DEON HOTTO (BIDVEST WITS)
PLAYED: 24 GOALS: 3 ASSISTS: 12
Based only on the number of assists he's provided for his teammates to score goals this season, it is hard not to appreciate Deon Hotto's tremendous role in his team's fight for the league title this season.
Hotto has not missed a single league game for the Clever Boys, the ever-present being substituted only three times by Gavin Hunt.
The Namibian winger has not only delivered pinpoint crosses from the left wing but his endurance sees him helping his team regain possession when they've lost it.
Amazingly, nine of Hotto's assists were delivered in seven games they won, meaning when he's on song his team is like sweet music.
There's little doubt that should Sundowns slip up and Wits go on to capture their second league title in three seasons, Hotto is the player many will look at as the main creator of that.
That will also force people to look beyond Maboe when they search for one who's produced a starring role in his team's success in the league this season.
THEMBINKOSI LORCH (PIRATES)
PLAYED: 20 GOALS: 5 ASSISTS: 4
At times, Thembinkosi Lorch has been unstoppable this season, slicing through his markers like a hot knife through butter.
For Lorch, it has not been only about scoring, but getting his teammates into the groove has been one of his great attributes.
Who can forget Lorch's intoxicating performance in a 4-1 demolition of AmaZulu at the Orlando Stadium on February 23.
Kudakwashe Mahachi, Luvuyo Memela, Justin Shonga and Ben Motshwari might have been the scorers on that day. But man-of-the-match Lorch was the player who inflicted more misery on hapless Usuthu on the night.
In the two Soweto derbies against Kaizer Chiefs, in which Pirates won 2-1 in the first round and drew 1-1 in the second, Lorch was also at his devastating best.
With his 82nd-minute equaliser in the second-round match against Chiefs, Lorch showed his maturity, calmly slotting the ball home when many a Pirates supporter had resigned themselves to ending up on the losing side that day.
Pity that the Pirates performances this season have been nowhere near matching the form that Lorch has shown.Had they been a little consistent at home where they've drawn most of the 11 league matches, Lorch's chances of being crowned the PSL's Player of the Season would have been far greater.Still, in the few remaining matches - in which Lorch has already missed one against Wits yesterday due to suspension - there's still space for the Pirates winger to convince the judges that his form has not been a fluke.That, though, will mean Lorch has to carry Bucs over the line as far as the league title is concerned.Anything less than winning the league will limit Lorch's chances of dislodging whoever he's up against.

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