Thursday, April 22, 2021

Who will shine at Premier League Awards?

The Botswana Premier League (BPL) will host their annual awards next weekend (June 15) where they will reward those individuals who excelled in the just ended season. The awards, which will surely attract a lot of interest, are that of Player of the Season – with the winner expected to take home P50, 000. Unlike in the past, it is difficult for the bookmakers to predict the player who has stood head and shoulders above the rest in this campaign. Sunday Standard journalist TSHEPO MOLWANE looks at the three nominated players and predicts who stands the best chance.
 
Alphonse Modisaotsile (Gaborone United)
His name came as a surprise to many people who believe that he was not at his best this season. Modisaotsile has made the holding role his own since he arrived from TAFIC and has won the hearts of most of the club’s supporters. His ability to keep GU’s midfield in shape has put him above his peers. He was found wanting when the Reds were on attack but he compensated for that with his good reading of the game. His efforts have been rewarded by a place in the national team for the two crucial World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and Central African Republic. This season, he has featured in GU’s 28 league games having been forced to sit out two games by a knee injury.
 
Topo Piet (Nico United)
After a disappointing 2011/2012 Premier League season due to injury, Piet lived up to the expectations this season. He has proved many critics, who doubted his abilities, wrong. He has been a marvel to watch this season as he spearheaded Majombolo’s attack. His trickery coming from the wing left most defenders for dead the entire season. The Ranaka-born midfielder has only missed three games this season, two due to suspension with the other one due to family bereavement. In games in which he was missing, Majombolo looked out of sorts though some people refused to admit so. His performances in the past season have not gone unnoticed as the Big Three are said to be interested in his services. His contract runs till the end of June 2014. It remains a mystery why he has not made it to the national team despite fine displays in the past 10 months.
 
Elvis Meleka (Mochudi Centre Chiefs)
There are no words which can describe the Zimbabwean midfielder who came to Magosi in the past season. He immediately won the hearts of soccer loving people irrespective of the club they support. This season he has continued with consistent displays for Magosi despite playing some of the games with injuries. It is surprising that Meleka has not missed a single game owing to suspension yet he plays in a defensive midfield. He has featured in 29 games this past season, only missing their away game against Miscellaneous when the coaches decided to rest him. At the age of 27, the former Zimbabwean youth international seems to be maturing by the season. It is reported that some of the big guns in Zimbabwean Premier League have been monitoring his performances. It will not come as a surprise if he does not make the Chiefs’ squad next season. Meleka stands head and shoulders above his peers to walk away with this prize.

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