Sibusiso Vilakazi, a former winner of the Absa Premiership’s Footballer of the Season award, believes Hlompho Kekana deserved recognition for his fine performances this season.
The 31-year-old Mamelodi Sundowns star failed to pick up a prize at the season’s awards gala on Monday, despite his fine performances for the Brazillians this term. He was nominated for the Player of the Season as well as the Midfielder of the Season awards but lost out to teammate Khama Billiat on both counts.
‘He deserves it, Khama has proven himself. You could see in his first season with Sundowns he didn’t do well after his move to Ajax but in his second season he started to come out of his shell,’ Vilakazi told KickOff.
‘He has done well, he scored and created a lot of goals for Sundowns. Most importantly, he was also a team player.’
Nevertheless, Vilakazi admitted it was a shame Billiat’s brilliance has overshadowed the impact of his teammate.
‘I believe Hlompho also deserved to have got something and maybe Midfielder of the Season. He was fantastic this season. He could shut down opponents. He could move forward and score goals.
‘It’s very rare to find such kind of midfielders in the country,’ Vilakazi concluded.
Kekana made 39 appearances for Sundowns across all competitions this season, netting 8 goals and creating two assists.