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Kamela worthy winner of top award


Makoanyane XI midfielder Khubetsoana Kamele in action against Mozambique
Makoanyane XI midfielder Khubetsoana Kamele in action against Mozambique

Moorosi Tsiane

The Vodacom Premier League on Wednesday honoured outstanding performers for the 2015/16 season, with Lioli utility player, Jerry Kamela walking away with the prestigious footballer of the season award.

Kamela beat the Matlama duo of Motebang Sera and Jane Thabantso to domestic football’s most coveted individual award, but who could have ignored the hard work and silky skills of the Leribe-born midfielder after such a dream season?

I am not taking anything away from Matlama hitman Sera and attacking midfielder Thabantso, who were also outstanding in helping Matlama finish the season second on the 14-team table behind champions Lioli.

However, Kamela was in a class of his own and was central to Lioli’s fine run to two titles—the league and LNIG Top8—hence he deserved the title.

Kamela’s professional approach to the game also saw him being a crucial member of the national team, Likuena.

The midfielder featured in almost every Lioli match, if not all of them, and scored crucial goals which  helped Tse Nala defend their league title.

To a neutral spectator, Kamela might go unnoticed, but a closer look at this team would reveal it would not be the same without him prowling the centre of the park.

When Lioli were without midfield maestros Motlalepula Mofolo and Bushy Moletsane due to injury, Kamela was there for the team, driving it forward in its relentless pursuit of the league championship.

Kamela was a nominee for the same award last season but lost to Bantu forward Litšepe Marabe, who was the big winner on the night as he scooped three accolades—the player of the season, players’ player of the season  and Golden Boot for the highest number of goals.

It is rare for our players to maintain their outstanding performance for two consecutive seasons, but Kamela did it, proving his special qualities.

The likes of Tšepo Seturumane, Marabe, Lazola Tjokotjokwana and Tumelo Khutlang are but good examples of this inconsistency I am talking about because in 2015/16, they were a pale shadow of the players they were the previous campaign.

Yet it was Kamela’s good behaviour on and off the pitch that has helped him become one of the best players in our premier league.

You might not be a Lioli fan, but just close your eyes and imagine your favourite team with Kamela in the heart of its midfield and you know it’s game-on against any opposition.

I would also like to congratulate Sundawana forward Roboama Koloti who won the young player of the season and players’ player of the season accolades.

It’s rare to see players from the so-called small teams winning these awards but Koloti showed us anything is possible through determination.

In the other awards, Lioli’s Mosholu Mokhothu won the coach of the season award; Sele Thetsane of Kick4Life was named goalkeeper of the season; Lebalang Mokete claimed the referee of the season gong, while Pali Pali won the assistant referee of the season crown.

To everyone who won an award on Wednesday, well done, and those who didn’t, better luck next time.


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