Vilakazi eyes Europe after stellar season

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iol spt may9 Vilakazi Gallo Images Wits skipper Sibusiso Vilakazi has had a stellar season and has been nominated for three PSL awards. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images

When Thulani Serero made a clean sweep at the PSL awards three seasons ago, his next step was to make a move to Europe where he joined Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam.

That’s exactly what Bidvest Wits captain Sibusiso Vilakazi is targeting after he was nominated in three categories for this season’s PSL awards, set for the Sandton Convention Centre next Sunday.

Yesterday the Clever Boys captain was deservedly nominated for PSL Footballer of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season and the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament awards.

He would love to walk away with these awards and then make a move to Bröndby in Denmark. He was at Bröndby in March for trials and feels he may have done enough to convince the Danish club to make an offer for his services come the end of this campaign.

“Next season I would like to see myself playing overseas. I would prefer a move overseas than a move to a local club. I know they were very happy. And I was surprised with how well I did there in a short space of time. From what I hear, they told José Ferreira (Wits CEO) that they were happy with me and they might hold talks at the end of the season,” said Vilakazi.

“I am happy that I have been nominated for these awards. But, obviously, it would have been great if we won the league.

“And I also would have wanted to score about 13 or 14 goals in the league.”

For the Footballer of the Season award, Vilakazi is up against Mamelodi Sundowns’ unwavering captain Alje Schut and Kaizer Chiefs hard man, midfielder Willard Katsande. The 16 PSL coaches nominated the three players.

“It will be tough coming up against those two players for the award. Schut has done very well at Sundowns and has brought stability to their team. And Katsande has been grinding for Chiefs in the midfield. It’s a tough category, but we will see what happens. Hopefully things go well.”

Vilakazi described his relationship with coach Gavin Hunt as a “love/hate”.

The player has been brilliant for the Clever Boys throughout the campaign, but Hunt has always believed that he can do more than he currently does. The attacking midfielder, though, has done enough to get nominated for three awards.

“My relationship with Gavin is a love/hate relationship,” Vilakazi laughs. “It’s always a ‘show me what you got’.

“You give 10 and he says it is not good enough. He wants 15. But it’s good for me because it pushes me to work harder.”

That hard work has paid off and Vilakazi is hoping he, too, like Serero, will need help carrying all his awards and cheques out of the Sandton Convention Centre come awards night.

AWARD NOMINEES

Footballer of the Season

Alje Schut (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits)

Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs)

Players’ Player of the Season

Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits)

Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs)

Goalkeeper of the Season

Anssi Jaakkola (Ajax Cape Town)

Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)

Moeneeb Josephs (Bidvest Wits)

Young Player of the Season

Abbubaker Mobara (Ajax)

Frank Mhango (Bloemfontein Celtic)

Keagan Dolly (Ajax)

Coach of the Season

Clive Barker (Mpumalanga Black Aces)

Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Stuart Baxter (Kaizer Chiefs)

Meanwhile, the PSL confirmed that the promotion relegation play-offs will start next Wednesday.– The Star


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