Khune was the brightest star at the Absa Premiership awards

THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) has honoured its top performers for the 2012/13 season at a glittering event at the Gold Reef City in Johannesburg tonight, 26 May 2013.

KAIZER Chiefs captain and goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune was the biggest winner during last night’s Absa Premiership awards after walking away with the Footballer of the Season, Absa Premiership Player’s Player of the Season, Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season and Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament.

The awards ceremony which was held at the Gold Reef City in Johannesburg saw Khune took home trophies and R575 000 in prize money.

PSL Acting CEO, Cambridge Mokanyane said: “I would like to congratulate all the individuals who won this season especially Itumeleng Khune who has been truly outstanding this season. This is an epic way to finish what has been a successful 2012/13 season.”

Khune’s outstanding performances in goal were a huge asset for both Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana this season and saw him walking off with the FOOTBALLER OF THE SEASON award and a shopping R250 000.

Respective coaches Stuart Baxter and Gordon Igesund have both regularly praised the 25-year-old for his superb showing in between the poles.

Khune was also acknowledged by his fellow professionals who play alongside him every week by picking up the coveted Absa Premiership Players’ Player of the Season and an additional R150 000.

The Ventersdorp-born goal minder played a vital role in AmaKhosi’s title-winning campaign, playing in all but one of the team’s 30 league games, marshalling the team’s rearguard superbly and ensuring Chiefs had the best goals-conceded record (21) in the Absa Premiership, resulting in him walking off with the Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season ahead of Orlando Pirates’ Senzo Meyiwa and SuperSport United’s Ronwen Williams.

Williams was however rewarded for his fantastic performances in the Matsatsantsa goal by walking off with the Absa Premiership Young Player of the Season accolade for the second successive season, beating Platinum Stars’ upcoming defender Tshepo Gumede as well as Tuks exciting midfielder Bongani Zungu to the R50 000 prize.

For former Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter, it was a successful return to South Africa as the Englishman led Chiefs to their first league title in eight years and ensured the league and cup double with Saturday night’s extra-time win over SuperSport in the Nedbank Cup. Baxter edged out Platinum Stars’ Cavin Johnson and Bloemfontein Celtic’s Clinton Larsen to the R75 000 prize for the Absa Premiership Coach of the Season.

There were a host of spectacular goals in the league this season, but it was SuperSport United defender Mor Diouf’s once-in-a-lifetime shot from well inside his own half that was the pick of the bunch.

The Senegalese centre-back spotted Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Calvin Marlin off his line, chipping the keeper from 70 metres out to secure an 88th minute winner.

His effort was enough to pick up the Absa Premiership Absa-lutely Awesome Goal of the Season R50 000 prize, ahead of Fikru Lemessa and Sifiso Myeni.

Katlego Mashego it was though who proved to the most reliable and consistent goal-scorer in the Absa Premiership, the Moroka Swallows goal poacher forcing his way back into the Bafana Bafana setup with his 13 league goals this season enough to win him the Absa Premiership Top Goalscorer award.

SuperSport midfielder Edwin Gyimah was unfortunate not to pick up any awards in the Nedbank Cup, losing out in two categories as Khune won the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament, while Dikwena’s Tshepo Gumede got the Nedbank Cup Most Promising Player of the Tournament accolade and a cheque for R40 000.

The Telkom Knockout award nominations were dominated by Bloemfontein Celtic players.

Botswana international winger Joel Mogorosi’s superb performances and outstanding goals, such as the overhead kick against Orlando Pirates, saw him lifting the Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament award and the R200 000 prize ahead of team-mates Ruzaigh Gamaldien and Thabo Nthethe.

MTN8 winners Moroka Swallows had three nominations in the MTN8 Last Man Standing category. It was a rejuvenated Lerato Chabangu who scooped the R150 000, winning the award ahead of Bennett Chenene and George Nergadzi.

The men in black were also honoured for their vital contribution to the game: Victor Gomes received R50 000 as Referee of the Season, while R40 000 went the way of assistant referee Enoch Molefe.-www.psl.co.za

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