Shabba deservedly won best player award – Kholoane
Shabba deservedly won best player award – Kholoane

Posted in Features, News on Jun 05, 2017.

“Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala deservedly won the Player of the Season award,” reflected Johannes ‘Big Boy’ Kholoane on the Kaizer Chiefs Awards evening held on Thursday. “He made a difference whenever he played, stamping his authority.”

Kaizer Chiefs had, as usual, invited various former players to their end of the season awards evening, including Kholoane, Jackie Masike, Lucky Stylianou, Vusi ‘Computer’ Lamola, Sylvester ‘City’ Kole, Absalom ‘Scara’ Thindwa, William ‘Cool Cat’ Shongwe, Wellington Manyathi, Abel ‘Chacklas’ Shongwe and Cyril ‘Skhokho’ Nzama.

Kholoane played for Amakhosi from 1972 until early 1976, an extremely skilful and fast winger. “Shabba knows that soccer is a game of risks,” he adds, “and that’s why he takes chances, like his two recent marvellous goals against Cape Town City and SuperSport United.”

In both cases, Tshabalala marvellously chipped the ball from outside the box over the respective goalkeepers.

Kholoane was also happy that Ramahlwe ‘Rama’ Mphahlele got the Players’ Player of the Season award. “He’s a workaholic. He has so much energy, going up and down the flank for 90 minutes, delivering telling crosses into the opponent’s box. Rama always makes a difference when he plays.”

Chiefs’ former PRO, Louis ‘Sprinter’ Tshakoane, was handed the Chairman’s award. “I know Louis well,” commented Kholoane, “He was really fantastic in the way he built-up a vibrant atmosphere at the stadium before each game. He contributed so much to where Chiefs is now.”

Stylianou became a Glamour Boy in 1978, being Chiefs’ first white player. “Before the Awards evening started, I spoke with a few other legends and most predicted that Shabba would win that award,” the former midfielder said about Tshabalala becoming the Player of the Season.

“For me, Shabba was actually Amakhosi’s most improved player, especially compared to the previous season, which was a difficult year for him.”

The former Chiefs player, however, was a bit surprised about Willard Katsande not getting any award: “He’s Mister Reliable, your bread and butter player. If Willard doesn’t play, Chiefs often struggle, especially in the middle of the park.”

About Mphahlele being selected by his colleagues as the Players’ Player of the Season, Stylianou added: “When your teammates select you as their best player of the season, then there is no emotion… It means that Rama’s award was deserved”.

Referring to Tshakoane’s award, Stylianou commented: “Louis contributed positively to Chiefs’ success. The way he approached the pre-match entertainment, including his famous sprints, was something completely new at the time. He introduced a new vibe and that’s why I am happy Tshakoane got the Chairman’s award.”

Kholoane and Stylianou feel, however, that Amakhosi desperately need to win a trophy next season. “To go two seasons without winning a single trophy,” said Stylianou, “That’s not what Chiefs is about. It was a very average season in comparison to the history of the club.”

“The players shouldn’t look back too long though,” Kholoane advised. “They should lift their heads, do a bit of fine-tuning, get a little pushed and do better in the next season.”

Both Kholoane and Stylianou thoroughly enjoyed the 2016/2017 Kaizer Chiefs Awards evening. “It was wonderful. It was really a beautiful evening with some great entertainment,” concluded ‘Big Boy’.


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