VESELIN Jelusic, the Bloemfontein Celtic coach, has been named the Coach of the Month for October 2017, while Polokwane City forward, Rodney Ramagalela, won the double at the Absa Premiership monthly recognition awards as he scooped both Goal of the Month (August/September) and Player of the Month (October 2017).
Ramagalela, who rose to prominence during his days as a Black Leopards player in 2009, took to the stage twice on Thursday afternoon at the Premier Soccer League offices to accept his two awards. His stunningly taken chipped goal during Polokwane City’s 2-1 away win over Mamelodi Sundowns back in August, received an overwhelming majority of votes from football fans and the public, as the best goal for the August/September period.
In the Player of the Month category, Ramagalela also emerged as the winner, following a judging process by a panel of experts and broadcasters ahead of Sandile Zuke from Chippa United, Baroka FC’s duo Gift Motupa and Sipho Moeti, Thabo Qalinge of Orlando Pirates and Siphiwe Tshabalala from Kaizer Chiefs respectively.
The judging panel were impressed by his work rate and appetite of always creating a scoring opportunity for his team even when there is none. He was recognized for being able to neutralize opposition defenders when he plays either as a forward or on the wing.
Ramagalela scored three goals and provided two assists in City’s matches during this period. He is the current top goal scorer in the Absa Premiership with six goals.
Jelusic from Serbia, who is in his first coaching job in South Africa, beat Baroka FC coach Kgoloko Thobejane, Luc Eymael of Free State Stars and Chippa United’s new coach, Tebogo Moloi, to win the award which was adjudicated by a panel of experts.
During the block of fixtures played from 23 September to 31 October 2017, ‘Siwelele’ picked up seven points in the club’s four games. Jelusic guided his side to home and away victories over reigning Absa Premiership champions Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City, stole a point at Chippa United and lost away at Ajax Cape Town, only conceding in one of those games.
Judges recognized Jelusic for having turned the fortunes of the team around after a difficult 2016/17 season. He was also praised in the manner he’s transformed some of his players into exceptional talent as Celtic moved up the standings to 4th place in the standings.
The Players and Coach of the Month awards were selected by a panel of judges made up of members of the broadcast media, football analysts Absa Premiership legends and was convened by renowned coach and analyst Farouk Khan.