JOHANNESBURG, May 2 – On Thursday Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic was named the Absa Premiership Coach of the Month, while Mwape Musonda from Black Leopards won the Absa Premiership Player of the Month award for March/April.
Both the Serbian-born coach and the Zambian forward returned to the stage at the Premier Soccer League offices for the coveted monthly individual awards, for the second time during this season.
The Buccaneers played six matches during the period of 1 March – 24 April, and Sredojevic guided them to four wins and two draws, collecting 14 points out of a possible 18. The Absa Premiership title-chasing side grabbed home wins over Leopards, Free State Stars respectively, beat Bidvest Wits and Maritzburg United away and drew with Mamelodi Sundowns during that period.
The judging panel praised Sredojevic for instilling a winning culture within the team, tightening the defence and also having shaped Pirates well in these latter stages of the season to have his team’s short-term objectives tailored to win the league title.
His rivals, Josef Vukusic of Polokwane City and SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo, were praised for an impressive run of results with their respective teams.
Musonda, the on-form Black Leopards forward scored a hat-trick in his side’s come-from-behind victory over Chippa United and then also scored in three successive matches during the March/April period.
He has largely been superb in front of goal despite his side’s inconsistent run of results, scoring six goals in Leopard’s four games during this time. Thanks to his efforts, Black Leopards sit just above the relegation zone with only a couple of matches left to play until the end of the Absa Premiership 2018/2019 campaign.
Musonda, who was the top goal scorer in the National First Division last season, has opened a huge gap atop the Absa Premiership top scorers’ chart with 14 goals to his name.
Other players who were in contention for the award included Mxolisi Macuphu of SuperSport United and the Polokwane City pair of Mohammed Anas and George Chigova.
Sredojevic and Musonda will each receive R5 000 from Absa, sponsors of the Premiership.
Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs’ Khama Billiat took home the Absa Premiership Goal of the Month award for March. The Zimbabwean attacker scored a curling scintillating goal from 25-yards to equalise for Amakhosi in their 1-1 draw against SuperSport United in early March. He also takes home R5 000 for his effort.
The goal by Billiat was voted for by fans who picked their favourite via the Premier Soccer League website. Each Absa Premiership Goal of the month will be on the list of goals that fans can vote for as the Absa-lutely Awesome Goal of the Season at the end of the season awards.
The judging panel includes Fabian McCarthy (convenor), Lebo Motsoeli, Mpho Letsholonyane, Siyabonga Nkosi, Thabo Kofa and Christopher Bongo. (ANA)