Mthembu is Rookie of the Year

ORLANDO Pirates striker Siphelele Mthembu was yesterday named Jet Rookie of the Year at a function held at a hotel in Johannesburg.

ORLANDO Pirates striker Siphelele Mthembu was yesterday named Jet Rookie of the Year at a function held at a hotel in Johannesburg.

Mthembu, who is widely known as "Shaka Zulu" in football circles, made an impressive 2008/2009 Absa Premiership debut.

He overcame the off-pitch problems that arose from Pirates' protracted legal battle with arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs over his signature.

The youngster - who could not attend the function because he was in camp preparing for Pirates' match against Ajax Cape Town last night - is among the Buccaneers' trump cards for the new season.

Mthembu, who played for Maritzburg City before moving to the top flight, beat equally good competitors to get the accolade.

They are Masibusane Zongo (SuperSport United), Phumelele Bengu (Moroka Swallows), Bradley Grobler (Platinum Stars), Bradley Ritson (AmaZulu), Thulani Serero (Ajax Cape Town), Tobogo Langerman (SuperSport United) and George Lebese (Chiefs).

"Personally, I think I deserve to win this trophy because I have worked very hard .

"Everything I do I entrust to God, and if He gave this trophy to me, I think I deserved it," he told Orlando Pirates' website.

"All the other players did exceptionally well, but there could be only one winner ." - Sowetan

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