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Themba Zwane Crowned SAFJA Men’s Footballer of the Season


Mamelodi Sundowns’ playmaker Themba Zwane was the overwhelming winner of the inaugural South African Football Journalists’ Association’s (SAFJA) Men’s Footballer of the
Season award, powered by Hollywoodbets.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Zwane beat strong competition from his teammate and captain Hlompho Kekana, the Kaizer Chiefs duo of Lebogang Manyama and Samir Nurkovic along with his new teammate Peter Shalulile who had a stellar season in the colours of Highlands Park. Zwane was the only name that was in the nominees list of every panel member.

There were 16 players in the longlist that was trimmed to five. The panel that came out with the nominees list was made up of renowned commentators Mark Gleeson, Kevan Evans, Duane Dell’Oca and Thabiso Tema as well as nine members of the executive committee of Safja.
The winner was voted for by the members of the 108-pessonel strong Safja. Zwane’s coronation as the king of South African football for the 2019-20 season by the association comes a month after Rhoda Mulaudzi was crowned by Safja as the queen of SA football her exploits in the colours of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. Zwane received 59% of the votes, rewarding his contribution as the heartbeat of the Sundowns’ team that won a domestic treble. 
“I believe that this was my best season,” Zwane said. “I scored more goals, created more
goals and was involved in most attacking play. I think that I am a better Mshishi than I was
last season. Thanks to everyone involved in this award, I am honoured to be named the
winner of the first one.”

Along with the revolving trophy that Zwane received, the prize for this award also includes
media training lessons for an amateur club of the winner’s choice. Zwane chose Shukumani
Primary School in Tembisa. He, along with his parents and Hollywoodbets ambassador Jerry
Sikhosana all went to that school.
Sikhosana, who was at the announcement, heaped praised at Zwane and what he did this

“I actually don’t think that this was his best season,” Sikhosana said. “He played well
last season and was critical in the team’s success. He just didn’t score enough. I know that
even with this performance this season, he can do better. I am proud of the player that he
has become. We come from the same street, which is the only one that has two winners of
the Champions League.”

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