Absa Premiership Team of the Season


The SBN Team picked their brains out to give the Absa Premiership Team of the Season. Do you agree with our selections?

Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United) – From the get-go, no goalkeeper in the league has been as consistently superb as SuperSport United shot-stopper, Ronwen Williams, this season. The 27-year-old played every minute of Matsatsanta’s 2018/19 campaign, keeping 12 clean sheets, conceding just 29 times in 30 games. In those 12 clean sheets kept, Williams managed to shut out champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, runners-up, Orlando Pirates, as well as third-placed Bidvest Wits, so it shows that the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper has the big-game temperament to represent the national team in the upcoming AFCON.

Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United)

Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City) – Unrivalled as the best right back in the division, Thamsanqa Mkhize has put down his marker as one of the best defenders that the Absa Premiership has to offer. The 30-year old KwaZulu-Natal-born star has had a sterling campaign under coach Benni McCarthy, captaining Cape Town City to a fourth-placed finish in the standings, while Mkhize also walked away with the club’s biggest accolade, having being crowned City’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in their annual award ceremony.

Happy Jele (Orlando Pirates) – It was somewhat of an unfortunate campaign for Happy Jele, but the Orlando Pirates skipper still cracks the nod in making our Team of the Season. Whether it was in a back four, or an attacking three-man defensive set-up, Jele has been rock-solid for the Buccaneers this term, while he also managed to stay fit in between the club’s CAF Champions League commitments. Many would argue that Jele should have made the Absa Premiership’s three-man shortlist for Defender of the Season as well.


Ricardo Nascimento (Mamelodi Sundowns) – Ricardo Nascimento is the clear favourite to win the Defender of the Season Award, and quite frankly, deservedly so. The Brazilian played in 25 league games for Mamelodi Sundowns this season, scoring four times, with three coming from the penalty spot. In those 25 matches played, Nascimento also kept 13 clean sheets for Masandawana.

Sifiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits) – Many eyebrows were raised when Sifiso Hlanti’s name was called up as one of the Defender of the Season nominees. To be fair, his displays did go under the radar at Bidvest Wits this campaign. If anything, Hlanti showed his versatility, operating on the left side of midfield at one stage, as well as being utilized as a centre-back. The Wits full-back was instrumental in his side’s push for a CAF Confederations Cup spot, which Gavin Hunt would surely welcome after finishing 13th in the previous campaign.

Gaston Sirino (Mamelodi Sundowns) – Finally a mention of some of the excellent firepower we’ve seen in the 2018/19 season, and what better way to start it off, than by mentioning the Uruguayan playmaker who made headlines after the nominees were announced. Another surprise call was seeing Gaston Sirino’s name nowhere to be seen on Monday, failing to make the shortlist for any award on offer. In all competitions, Sirino provided 21 assists and scored 10 goals, but in the league, he netted five times and boasted seven assists to his name – all in just 23 appearances. By Absa Premiership standings, that is still impressive and although Sirino is snubbed for any accolade that the league has to offer, he easily makes our Team of the Season.

Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns) – Hlompho Kekana, a stalwart in Mamelodi Sundowns’ midfield. Another easy call for the SBN team was including the 33-year-old club captain and engine. This was arguably the best season Kekana has had in his career, despite all the CAF challenges that came in his way, having to play five times in the space of a couple of days. Kekana has been a leader, on and off the pitch. Seeing him lift the Absa Premiership trophy couldn’t have been more deserving after his exploits in the Sundowns jersey this season.

Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns) – One of the ever-reliable and consistent performers at Mamelodi Sundowns. Themba Zwane was forced to play different positions this season due to some players like Sibusiso Vilakazi not being available, but ‘Mshishi’ mastered all the positions and showed that he is a jack of all trades. He was involved in 10 goals this season, scoring four and assisting six in 25 appearances, while his participation in both the league and Champions League deserves a mention.


Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates) – Individually, its tough to pick any player who had a better season this term than Orlando Pirates’ Thembinkosi Lorch. The 25-year-old netted nine times and created five assists, operating in a number of positions up front, including as a second striker, as a number 10, or on either side of the wing. Lorch’s trickery and intelligence in front of goal makes him many fans’ favourite to walk away with the Player of the Year accolade in Durban this weekend. As far as we’re concerned, he’s certainly our Player of the Season.

Mwape Musonda (Black Leopards) – It may seem crazy to pick a player from a team that fought so hard to stay up in the league, but any Team of the Season without Black Leopards’ Mwape Musonda is a crazy one in our books. The Zambian marksman netted 16 league goals in 28 appearances, the last person to get a goal-tally of that amount being way back in the 2011/12 season where Siyabonga Nomvethe bagged 20 goals for Moroka Swallows. Numbers aside, his hold-up play and interchange with the midfielders at Lidoda Duvha make him an easy pick in our team.


Lebohang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns) – Very few expected Lebohang Maboe to hit the ground running like how he did this season. When the 24-year-old signed for Mamelodi Sundowns, we thought he would first struggle for game time given the quality there is at the club. He shocked everyone with his superb displays which saw him score eight goals and get three assists in 27 appearances. His top-class performances also saw him earn a call-up for the national team.

Coach of the Season: Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns) – Many coaches impressed during the 2018/19 season. Coach Benni McCarthy deserves a mention, as well as Polokwane City’s Jozef Vukusic and Highlands Park’s Owen Da Gama. But, one has to be chosen as our Coach of the Season as majority ruled in favour of Sir Jingles, Pitso Mosimane. The 54-year-old mentor, who had to juggle between the league and CAF Champions League, while at one stage, the Masandawana head coach didn’t even know how many points he had on the table. At the end of it all, the league went where it was supposed to go, while our Coach of the Season award went with it.

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