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Namibia forward Shalulile voted best player in South Africa

Mamelodi Sundowns forward Peter Shalulile was 450,000 rand ($33,000/27,000 euro) richer on Monday after winning the two major annual South African football awards.

Mamelodi Sundowns forward Peter Shalulile (Backpagepix)
Mamelodi Sundowns forward Peter Shalulile (Backpagepix)

The 27-year-old Namibia star, who scored 22 goals in all competitions for the Pretoria club, was voted Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season.

Coaches of the 16 top-flight clubs chose the Player of the Season. The other prize was decided by a poll of Premiership footballers.

Windhoek-born Shalulile began his professional career with local club Tura Magic in 2011 and joined then second-tier South African outfit Highlands Park four years later.

He moved to Sundowns last year and enjoyed an outstanding first season as his team won a fourth straight Premiership title and reached the CAF Champions League quarter-finals.

Although Shalulile consistently creates headlines because of his scoring exploits, Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi said it was the selflessness of the Namibian that impressed him.

“Many people say forwards must be selfish, but Peter is not. He scores many goals but also creates many for teammates.

“He commits the odd technical error, but you instantly forgive him because Peter gives you everything in matches and a training.”

It was a profitable virtual awards ceremony for non-South Africans, with fellow Namibian Deon Hotto, Zimbabwean Washington Arubi and Ugandan Denis Onyango also winning.

Winger Hotto was voted the best player in the MTN 8, an early-season knockout competition reserved for the clubs finishing first to eighth in the previous Premiership.

Goalkeeper Arubi, back in top-flight football last season at the age of 35, was voted the outstanding FA Cup player after helping rank outsiders TTM lift the trophy.

Onyango, who last month retired from international football, was named the Goalkeeper of the Season after another outstanding campaign with Sundowns. AFP