Piennar voted Bafana Bafana Player of the Year

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar has been voted the 2009 Senior National Team Player of the Year by local football supporters.

This follows the player's outstanding performance in his England based club Everton FC and with the national team Pienaar has been a backbone in the midfield creating critical goals.

The announcement was made at the South African Football Association (SAFA) Awards ceremony on Thursday, which aimed to honour players and administrators who have contributed to national football.

Pienaar is one of the most extraordinary players during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup along with the likes of Kaka and Louis Fabiano, winning himself two "man of the match" titles against New Zealand and Brazil.

This sensational midfielder was voted ahead of his two Bafana Bafana teammate- right-back defender Siboniso Gaxa of Mamelodi Sundowns as well as Macbeth Sibaya, who plays for Rubin Kazan in Russia.

Football supporters voted for their favourite player via SMS to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television and radio stations.

In Amajita, National Under 20 Team, Thulani Serero who plays for Ajax Cape Town, was named the Under 20 Player of the Year.

This young but talented winger has been influential at club level as well as in the junior national team and is continuing to cause headache for local Premier Soccer League (PSL) defenders with his fascinating skills.

In this award, Serero was competing with skillful Philani Khwela and Amajita's mastermind Daylon Claasen, who both played in Holland for Feyenoord and Ajax Amsterdam respectively.

In the women's national team, Banyana Banyana, the talented Nompulelo Nyandeni walked away with the Senior Women's National Team Player of the Year.

According to SAFA, this was a great achievement for the midfielder considering the fact that she was vying for top honours against reigning Women's African Player of the Year, Noko Matlou as well as her captain Kylie-Ann Louw.

PSL champion, Supersport United mentor Gavin Hunt, was honoured with a prestigious Coach of the Year Award.

Hunt, who has won two premiership titles successively with Matsatasa ko Pitoli (Supersport), is one of the assessors for Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

In this category, Hunt was pitted against coaching giants - Styles Phumo, fellow assessor and Jomo Cosmos coach and boss, Jomo Sono and National Under 20 mentor Serame Letsoaka.

"The inception of the SAFA Awards last year had gone a long way in encouraging players to play with passion and pride, our coaches to work harder at their game plans, match officials to officiate at the highest level, and our administrators to govern the game effectively and efficiently," said SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani.

Among the dignitaries that attended the ceremony included the Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe as well as the 2002 Brazil World Cup squad winning captain Cafu.