Bucs set to dominate TKO awards
Newly crowned Telkom Knockout champions Orlando Pirates are expected to bag more silverware at the tournament’s awards ceremony on Tuesday to cap a remarkable chapter in the club’s history.
Pirates’ road to the final started with a clash against Black Leopards (2-1) in round one, then Moroka Swallows (2-1) in the quarterfinals and in the semifinals, they were drawn against Lamontville Golden Arrows (3-1).
After clearing all these hurdles the Bucs ship headed for an encounter with BidVest Wits in what was always going to be a grudge match after the later had humiliated Pirates 3-1 in a league match earlier in the month. The men in black and white appeared ready for the Students as they handed them a 3-1 beating to lift their maiden Telkom KO trophy.
Now the Pirates party is set to continue at the annual Telkom Knockout awards, which are aimed at “recognising and applauding the success of players and to encourage their efforts to become sport stars of the future”.
Looking back to the whirlwind contest, there was plenty of talent on display during the tournament and most players who cracked the nod from the judges - a panel of esteemed football aficionados - proved beyond any doubt that they deserve accolades for their incredible form.
A whopping R750 000 is on offer for individual players who made the Telkom Knockout the exhilarating competition that it was.
In the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, Orlando Pirates may see their goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs scooping the honours that carries a cool R 100 000 prize money. The 29 year old goal-minder was instrumental in ensuring Pirates a place in the final in the 2011 competition.
Also in the running, Swallows keeper Greg Etafia has done tremendously well between the posts and could spring a surprise. Another safe bet is Bidvest Wits keeper Energy Murambadoro who deserves a second look in this category.
The fact that all three candidates conceded very few goals during open play throughout the tournament speaks volumes of their abilities and is an indication they had solid defenders in front of them. It will be interesting to see which defender is crowned the tournament’s best.
Veteran Pirates defender and skipper, Lucky Lekghwathi is heavily tipped to walk away with the Defender of the Tournament trophy and a R100 000 cheque following his commitment to the team during the tournament. However, he faces stiff competition from Wits counterpart Derek Spencer. Another Pirates defender, Siyabonga Sangweni has done equally well in seeing his club through to the final stage of the competition. Bidvest Wits’ defender, Patrick Phungwayo, also deserves a mention.
Bookmakers will find it hard to get their bets right in the Midfielder of the Tournament section, as Bidvest Wits trio Sifiso Myeni, Asive Langwe and Sibusiso Vilakazi goes head to head in this category.
Pirates stalwart Oupa Manyisa can also live in hope as his creative moves made the judges sit up and take notice. The brilliant Isaac Chansa is in with a chance as well. This award also carries a purse of R100 000. It is clear, from the number of considerations, that this category is wide open and these 5 candidates would make the judges choice difficult as they have set the tournament alight with some brilliant performances.
The qualifying criteria for the R150 000 Goal Scorer of the Tournament prize is scoring 5 goals or more, failing which, a strikers award will be presented to the player - or shared by the players – who have scored the most goals throughout the tournament. There are 2 contenders for the 2011 Striker’s award, namely Benni McCarthy and Ryan Chapman.
Simba Marumo’s 2006 hat trick in the final was not emulated, so the R100 000 award will not be presented
And the big question must no doubt be who will walk away with the R200 000 prize money for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (Player of the Tournament).
The 2011 panel of judges are:
Convener: Marks Maponyane