Who was the best player of the season?

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CONGRATULATIONS to Bantu who were finally crowned the 2017/18 Econet Premier League champions for the second successive year.

This week I decided to turn a blind eye on all the off-the field incidents that made headlines for all the wrong reasons to focus on the individuals who stood out among their peers at their respective clubs.

This will come in the individual awards that are traditionally handed out at the end of every season. This time around we expect it to be bigger this season being the first year since Econet Telecom Lesotho replaced Vodacom Lesotho as the new league sponsors.

Naturally, I expect Bantu to have an upper hand because they have been the most consistent team in the league.

A Matšo Matebele lost only two matches all season as they went all the way to clinch the league title for the second year in a row.

The unity in the Bantu dressing room was the key factor in the club’s success despite all the ups and downs that marred their season.

The biggest credit for me goes to their coaching pair of James Madidilane and his assistant, Bob Mafoso.

It’s unfortunate that Madidilane will always take all the attention as the head coach but what a combination.

As for the Coach of the Season award, I think the Bantu mentor will once again be the front runner for the accolade. He is obviously going to face competition from the likes of Motheo Mohapi of LDF and Matlama’s Mosito Matela.

Matlama and LDF competed better in the just ended season compared to the previous seasons.

On the Player of the Season award, I think Bantu’s Lindokuhle Phungulwa stands out as exceptional.

He was the heartbeat of the Mafeteng outfit and consistent for the whole season.

Moloisane Ramasimong and Tsietsi Khooa are the other Bantu players that were phenomenal and I expect them to make the nominees for the accolade.

This season Ramasimong moved from being a player known for silky skills to become a team player bagging six goals in the process.

Khooa on the other hand was solid partnering skipper, Thapelo Mokhehle, in the heart of the defence. Bantu had lacked a defender of his abilities in a long time.

Kick4Life’s Nkoto Masoabi is already assured of the Top Goal Scorer award with 16 goals that were aided by his brace on the last day of the season against Linare?

Apart from the goals, Masoabi proved he is a deadly finisher scoring goals with his both feet and his head.

His overall performance improved and he can also make the list of the top players this season.

Matlama also had an improved season where they managed to challenge for the league title and also won the LNIG Top8.

Unfortunately, Tse Putsoa failed to maintain the good performance the whole season but despite that, young goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane was outstanding for the club.

For me, he has been the most consistent goalkeeper in the league despite his age and I would not be surprised if he walks away with the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award.

Veteran, Sam Ketsekile, also had a good season while LDF’s Likano Mphuthi, who I think is the best goalkeeper in the country will miss out on the award because he has been in and out of action due to injuries.

There is also Rethabile Selonyane of Linare who the only special mention in a consistently poor side has been.

However, I feel ‘Ntsunda’, as the player is affectionately known was not consistent enough and failed to come to the party in the big games.

There was also Kopano Tseka who, despite Lioli’s poor season, commanded Tse Nala’s defence.

Setho Moshoeshoe was also brilliant in the first round of the 2017/18 season for Liphakoe but went missing in the second stanza.

Teboho Lilane was also impressive Tse Putsoa colours having joined on loan from Bantu at the start of the season.

Most of the players failed to maintain their standards throughout the season apart from the trio of Phungulwa, Ramasimong and Masoabi who continued to bang the goals until the last day of the season.

 

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