Tshabalala wins big at Chiefs Awards

Siphiwe Tshabalala © Backpagepix
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala was the toast of the evening at he was honoured as the player of the season at the club’s annual awards ceremony on Thursday.

Chiefs brought the curtain down on the 2016/17 campaign at the club’s annual awards ceremony in Kyalami, Johannesburg, The event was attended by Chiefs players (junior and senior), technical staff, administrative staff, sponsors and other dignitaries who have played a role in shaping the brand into the formidable force it is in South African football.

The guests gathered together to honour those who made significant contributions to Amakhosi’s quest for silverware in what was a challenging season and, even though the end result fell short of achieving glory for the club and supporters, it was imperative for the club to acknowledge and reward players’ hard work.

“It is important for the club to review and take note of some of the highlights of the season and show appreciation to all involved in continuing to contribute to the rich history of this institution,” said Kaizer Chiefs executive chairman Kaizer Motaung.

“It is no secret we were found wanting when it mattered most during the season and the team failed to fulfil our desires and expectations. But learning the key lessons is always important after disappointing results because they will help us to pave the path for success next season.”

Just as in previous seasons, the event reflected on the preceding 12 months at Naturena.

In order to make way for new faces, Chiefs released a group of players at the end of last season and signed 11 players (3 of them promoted from the development academy), an assistant coach, a physical trainer and new goalkeeper coach. Adapting to new methods and systems with new players need time to gel properly and this may have played a role in the team not performing to its optimum.

In assessing what has essentially been a season of transition, during which new coaching methods and playing combinations take a while to bed in, it was still necessary to recognise the effort and unrelenting commitment of the warriors who wore the Gold & Black jersey with pride and fought gallantly for the Kaizer Chiefs badge this season.

“The chairman posthumously paid a special tribute to the club’s legends who passed away over the past year. Petros ‘Ten-Ten’ Nzimande, who joined Kaizer Chiefs during the formative years and who played as a defensive midfielder for the club until 1978, was laid to rest in November 2016 after a short illness.

Another legend who was remembered was erstwhile coach Jeff Butler, who is arguably one of the club’s most successful coaches in terms of silverware won. He passed on in April 2017 at the age of 83 after a long illness.

“The passing of both Ten-Ten and Jeff is a great loss to football and their legacy will live on for many years to come,” Motaung commented. “And even though they were with the club during different eras, they had a lot in common. They were disciplinarians, workaholics and very dedicated. Their contribution will live forever and their names will be engraved in gold in our history books.”

The Chairman’s award for 2017 went to a stalwart of the club, former PRO of the club, Louis ‘Sprinter’ Tshakoane, whose tireless dedication helped the club gain the prominence in South African football and who still remains popular among Amakhosi supporters.

“You cannot talk about Kaizer Chiefs in the 80s and 90s without mentioning Louis,” said Motaung. “Louis’ character, flamboyance and passion really livened up the mood in stadiums across the country. It is important to honour him and truly thank him for his work.”

Tshakoane started supporting Kaizer’s XI in 1969 and continued when Kaizer Chiefs were formed in 1970 because of his admiration for Kaizer Motaung as a player. He established a supporters’ club in Tembisa, which covered the whole of the then Transvaal. He joined Kaizer Chiefs officially in 1982 as the club’s PRO and worked with many supporters, media and players until he left in 1999 after 17 years of great service.

On the night, Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala received the Player of the Season award. He came good when it mattered most and weighed in with some crucial goals and assists to help the team when the going was tough and fully deserved the staggering R100 000 cheque that accompanies the award, courtesy of Vodacom. This is Shabba’s 3rd Player of the Season award in his 10 years with the Glamour Boys.

He also bagged the Top Goalscorer award for the 2016/17 season for his tally of eight goals in all competitions, Fan Player of the Season and best goal of the season.

The Player’s Player of the Year award went to Ramahlwe Mphahlele. In his first season with Amakhosi, the award was acknowledgement by his peers who worked with him during training sessions, many travels around the country, off and on the pitch. He received a brand-new Toyota RAV4 vehicle which he will drive for 12 months.

Rama added the 2016/17 KC Online Player and Fair Play awards to his cabinet.

The following sponsored awards were presented in recognition of outstanding individual performances during the season:



August – R10k Lorenzo Gordinho

September – R10k Lorenzo Gordinho

October – R10k Lorenzo Gordinho

November – R10k Ramahlwe Mphahlele

December – R10k Bernard Parker

February – R10k Joseph Molangoane

March – R10k Joseph Molangoane

April – R10k Siphiwe Tshabalala

May – R10k Ramahlwe Mphahlele

Fan Player of the Season – R50k Siphiwe Tshabalala

Player of the Season – R100k Siphiwe Tshabalala Nike KC Online Player – R25k Ramahlwe Mphahlele Hollard Fair Play – R20k Ramahlwe Mphahlele Medshield Most Improved – R30k Edmore Chirambadare DSTV Top Goal Scorer – R30k Siphiwe Tshabalala Carling Goal of the Season – R20k Siphiwe Tshabalala Toyota Players' Player of the Season Ramahlwe Mphahlele