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As if they are not already the envy of their counterparts in the Absa Premiership, Mamelodi Sundowns players now stand to pocket thousands of rands after a monthly award was introduced at Chloorkop yesterday.
The Player of the Month award carries a R20 000 cheque and the first recipient and August winner is midfielder Surprise Moriri.
New recruit Siboniso Gaxa took second spot and R15 000 while goalkeeper Brian Baloyi came third and got R10 000.
The award will be taken into consideration when the Player of the Season is decided, and according to coach Trott Moloto, it is an incentive to improve performance, determination and commitment by players.
Coming shortly after their disastrous outings with Bafana Bafana, the money put smiles on the faces of Moriri and Gaxa. The two were excused from training after rejoining the Sundowns squad yesterday.
Said Moriri: "The club signed a lot of experienced players and there is lots of competition, which obviously means I have to always strive to retain my place in the team. Scoring goals has helped me to win this award, and it's gratifying to start on this note, having spent most of last season out with injury."
Baloyi's exploits between the goalposts have often been the difference between the Brazilians winning or losing their matches.
"It is always good to start the season well, then your challenge is to maintain your consistency," Baloyi said.
Coach Moloto is pleased with his charges, especially after the so-called fringe players won a tournament at the weekend.
"I'm glad the guys grabbed their chance and forced people to sit up and take note," Moloto said.