The South African league remains one of the most riveting soccer showcases in Africa.
Khama Billiat, the brilliant Zimbabwean skipper stole the show at the recent South African Premier Soccer League Awards, held in Sandton. Billiat won the prize of the night; the PSL Footballer of the Season and also scooped the Absa Premiership Player’s Player of the Season and the Absa Premiership Midfielder of the Season. In all three categories, he shook off strong competition from teammates Hlompho Kekana and Keagan Dolly. According to Supersport the PSL Footballer of the Season is voted for by the coaches in the Premier League while players vote for the Player’s Player of the Season. Billiat took home prize money of R450 000 for his efforts. There is a general feeling that he indeed deserved everything that came his way after an astounding season with Mamelodi Sundowns.
Khama Billiat was born on the 19th of August 1990 in Harare and started his career at the tender age of eleven when he joined the Aces Youth Academy. The Academy was bridled with financial challenges and ended up failing to travel for away games. Billiat stopped playing for a year. In an interview with Zimbabwe’s Herald Newspaper, he said, “I wasn’t playing for about a year. I found a job at a shop selling clothes with my best friend Brian Chari. There was this local amateur coach that saw me working at the shop in town, Conrad Nyambabvu. He kept telling me I was wasting my time, asking me why I’m working and not playing soccer. But I was adamant on not playing locally, I wanted to play in another country.”
Indeed now he is singing his swan song in a foreign land after just a brief stint in the Zimbabwean domestic league at CAPS United Football Club. Billiat then joined Ajax Cape Town from 2010 to 2013 before joining Mamelodi Sundowns where he currently plays. He has said he is open to a move to Europe but would be happy to stay at Sundowns.
The Absa Premiership Top Goal Scorer was Collins Mbesuma of Black Aces while the Goalkeeper of the Season was Dennis Onyango of Mamelodi Sundowns. Thabo Nthethe of Mamelodi Sundowns was crowned Defender of the Season while Ben Motshwari of Bidvest Wits bagged the Absa-lutely Awesome Goal for his strike against Chippa. Mamelodi Sundowns’ domination of the awards session continued with Pitso Mosimane getting the Coach of the Season Award and Thabo Nthethe getting the Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament. Thabiso Kutumela of Baroka FC won the National First Division Top Goal Scorer award while Baroka FC’s Ndivhuwo Ravhuhali was crowned Nedbank Cup Young Player of the Tournament. Jeremy Brockie of Supersport United then won the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament award. Not to be left out was Ajax Cape Town’s Cecil Lolo who got the MTN8 Last Man Standing for his showing. The Multichoice Diski Challenge Player of the Season is Sibusiso Sibeko of Lamontville Golden Arrows while the Top Goal Scorer award went to Emmanuel Letlotlo of Kaizer Chiefs. Thando Ndzandzeka and Zakhele Siwela were crowned Referee of the Season and Assistant Referee of the Season respectively. All winners are listed on the Supersport webpage.
Mamelodi Sundowns dominated the season and capped it off with a win of the coveted Absa Premiership League. The dominance obviously continued into the Award session with the bulk of the important prizes going to the team. Orlando Pirates’s absence is conspicuous while Kaizer Chiefs’ one winner is not much better neither. These are the traditional bitter rivals and if the Brazilians’ dominance is anything to go by, that bitter rivalry now counts for nothing. The South African league remains one of the most riveting soccer showcases in the African continent. It remains to be seen if Mamelodi will assert its dominance in the CAF Champions League. Khama Billiat and team are ready!
Image credit: Gallo Images
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