Etafia, Diouf, Khuboni – the ever presents
Greg Etafia of Moroka Swallows
First up on the list is Moroka Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia. The Nigerian shot-stopper has had an excellent season ‘between the sticks’ for the Birds and could yet be rewarded with a first PSL winners medal if his team manage to overcome the two-point deficit to leaders Orlando Pirates on the final day.
Swallows may have conceded 34 goals in the 29 matches so far (the worst of any team in the top half of the table), but it’s safe to say they would have shipped plenty more – and perhaps not been in with a chance of winning the title – were it not for Etafia’s contribution.
The next player to have been on the pitch for all 2,610 minutes of his side’s league campaign so far is Maritzburg United defender Mor Diouf. The Senegalese player has been a model of consistency in the 2011/12 season and would be a shoo-in for a ‘team of the season’.
Not only has he been superb at the back and helped Maritzburg United have the equal-best defensive record of any team in the bottom half of the table (37 goals conceded), but he has done so without picking up a single caution all season. For a man whose job is to win the ball off opposing strikers, that is simply astonishing.
And he’s chipped in with four goals at the other end. Why his name is not already being strongly linked with a move to one of the ‘big’ Gauteng clubs is a mystery...
Last, but certainly not least, is Golden Arrows midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni. A player with an understated style, he has anchored Abafana Bes’thende’s engine room all season long and been perhaps their only genuinely consistent performer. Added to his hard work in midfield, he’s netted three goals and picked up just two yellow cards.
Arrows have had a poor season considering the talent they have at their disposal, but at least they are well clear (and have been for some time) of any relegation threat. Without Khuboni in their midfield, that may not have been the case.