Themba Zwane foresees Mamelodi Sundowns maintaining their dominance
Themba Zwane believes the high number of new recruits at Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of the start of the new season next month can only help the club maintain its dominance over their local rivals.
The Brazilians‚ who won three of the trophies‚ including a 10th Premiership‚ on offer this past season‚ are regular participants in the Caf Champions League.
Bafana Bafana midfielder Zwane reckons the 2016 Caf Champions League winners will need more personnel in the next season as they bid to replicate their domestic treble-winning performances while also aiming to again do well in the coveted premier continental club competition.
“I think it is a good thing [to sign more players] to increase the competition in the team and that is what we want because we play in important tournaments like the Caf Champions League where you need a lot of depth because the games are too many‚” said the 31-year-old dribbling wizard.
Zwane was speaking to journalists in Johannesburg on Tuesday in a digital ceremony where he was named the inaugural South African Football Journalists’ Association (Safja) Footballer of the Season.
The skilful playmaker beat off his captain Hlompho Kekana and new arrival Peter Shalulile to the award. Kaizer Chiefs top scorer Samir Nurkovic and his teammate Lebogang Manyama were also nominated for the inaugural prize.
Safja‚ formed in May and having grown in four months from just over 20 to its current 108 members‚ is hopeful that its men’s footballer award will become as recognised as it is in world football.
With the five nominees voted on by the Safja executive and TV commentators who are part of the organisation‚ ands the winner voted by all the association’s members‚ Zwane is the first recipient with more than 60% of the votes.
“It feels good to see people recognise the good job that you are doing on the field of play‚” said Zwane after receiving his award.
“It makes me happy. I’m happy with the award and I would like to say thanks to the people who voted for me – I really appreciate it.”
The man better known as “Mshishi” in his hometown of Thembisa received a trophy‚ a photo collage of his 2019-20 season and will choose a school of his choice that will receive media training.
“I choose Shukumani Primary School in Thembisa‚ that’s my school‚” said Zwane of a school where he and most of his family members attended at Nkanyamba Street in Ecaleni section.
Zwane played a pivotal role as Sundowns won the Absa Premiership title‚ the Telkom Knockout and the Nedbank Cup to complete a maiden domestic treble for Pitso Mosimane’s side.
He top scored for Sundowns with 11 goals and eight assists in the league as Mosimane’s team pipped rivals and long time leaders Kaizer Chiefs on the final day of the season.