By Matshelane Mamabolo

When Pollen Ndlanya scooped the Castle Premiership Player of the Year award last season, there was a general outcry that the accolade had gone to an undeserving player. The feeling was that Roger Feutmba should have pocketed the R65 000 top prize instead of the R35 000 he pocketed for winning the Players' Player of the Year award.

There should be no such disquiet this season though, as one player elevated himself head and shoulders above the rest, and a rocket scientist you need not be to figure out who that player is.

Siyabonga Nomvete has been by far the season's outstanding performer and is the overwhelming favourite of Independent Newspapers' soccer writers for the accolade previously won by Wilfred Mugeyi and Raphael Chukwu. Of the eight journalists who regularly covered PSL and Bafana Bafana matches, six picked the 22-year-old KwaZulu-Natalian, with the others voting for the Sundowns' duo of Cameroonian striker Alain Amougou and SA under-23 captain Matthew Booth.

Although Chiefs were hardly inspirational this season, Nomvete was at his best, not only in scoring goals, but creating opportunities too. Bafana Bafana owe their African Nations Cup silver medals and qualification for the group stages of the 2002 World Cup qualifiers to the talents of the shy striker known as Bhele.

Another accolade the writers tend to agree on is that of Club of the Year, with six feeling that no other club is more deserving than Rothmans Cup winners and League champions-elect Sundowns.

At the start of the season, there were those who thought Wits University would be relegated. But the relatively inexperienced Students surprised all, beating the likes of Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in a season that brought no titles but saw them rekindle their reputation as giant killers.

Four writers reckoned the fact that John Lathan had managed to get a side containing no big names to a lofty fourth position was good enough for Coach of the Season honours, an award he shares with Paul Dolezar of Sundowns.

Eight months ago, the name Jabu Pule would not have meant much to fans. But today, Pule is a household name and his meteoric rise from the Total Rau/Kaizer Chiefs Academy to the Amakhosi first team, the SA under-23 and Bafana Bafana squads won him numerous votes for Most Promising Newcomer and Greatest Individual Achievement.

That the 3-3 draw between Sundowns and Orlando Pirates received the thumbs up for Match of the Season was hardly surprising. The game, taken to Durban's King's Park to coincide with the visit of the Fifa Inspection Committee, was action-packed from the outset.

There've been some brilliant goals scored this season and the panel were rightly divided in their choice. While three considered Thabo Mngomeni's third goal against Sundowns the best, two felt there was none to beat Steven Pienaar's solo effort in Ajax Cape Town's 3-2 defeat of the Buccaneers.

Expectedly, there were some low points. Clubs

failing to provide the media with team lists in time was the main concern of the panel, with Jomo Cosmos fairing the worst in this respect, while some were not too pleased with the Bafana Bafana's attitude during the Nations Cup in Ghana and Nigeria.

It was a struggle to come up with names of the Referee and Assistant Referees of the Season, such was the low standard of officiating.

Whether the official Castle Premiership awards go the same way remains to be seen.

But there can be no disputing the season's best player - Siyabonga Nomvete.

Billy Cooper's (The Star)

Footballer of the Season: Siyabonga Nomvete (Kaizer Chiefs)

Most Promising Newcomer: Jabu Pule (Chiefs)

Best Goal of the Season: Jabu Pule's debut goal for Bafana Bafana in the 2-0 win over Lesotho

Club of the Season: Sundowns

Match of the Season: Sundowns 3 Orlando Pirates 3

Most Improved Team of the Season: Wits University

Most Media Friendly Club: Santos

Least Media Friendly Club: Orlando Pirates

Team of the Season (4-4-2): Brian Baloyi (Kaizer Chiefs); Cyril Nzama (Bush Bucks), Mohammed Ouseb (Chiefs), Frank Schoeman (Sundowns), David Kannemeyer (Ajax Cape Town); Steve Lekoelea (Orlando Pirates), Thabo Mooki (Chiefs), Roger Feutmba (Sundowns), Josep Ngake (Pirates); Dennis Lota (Pirates) and Siyabonga Nomvete (Chiefs).

Subs: John Tlale (Sundowns), Fabian McCarthy (Bloemfontein Celtic), Dillon Sheppard (Ajax), Patrick Mbuthu, Jabu Pule (both Chiefs), Patrick Mayo (Bush Bucks), Alain Amougou (Sundowns)

Coach of the Season: Paul Dolezar (Sundowns)

Referee of the Season: Jerome Damon

Assistant Referee of the Season: Achmat Salie

Official of the Season: Danny Jordaan for his sterling work in trying to win South Africa the right to host the 2006 World Cup

Biggest Blunder of the Season: Orlando Pirates losing on a penalty shootout in the semifinal of the African Cup Winners' Cup against Africa Sports of Cote d'Ivoire after coming back from a 3-1 first leg defeat.

Greatest Individual Achievement: Jabu Pule. He made his debut for Chiefs in the Vodacom Cup last July and within nine months made his Bafana debut (against Lesotho) and scored that stunning goal.

Flop of the Season: The Rothmans Cup. This competition was ruined by protests, counter-protests and arbitration hearings and the final, which Sundowns eventually won, was an anti-climax.

Best TV Show: Panasonic World of Soccer

Best TV Commentator: John Perlman

Best Radio Commentator: Kevin Evans

Odd Moment of the Season: When Hellenic arrived from Cape Town to play Chiefs at the Rand Stadium, but the Amakhosi failed to pitch up.

Thomas Kwenaite (The Sunday Independent)

Footballer of the Season: Siyabonga Nomvete

Most Promising Newcomer: Jabu Pule

Best Goal of the Season: Thabo Mngomeni's goal against Sundowns in the 3-3 draw at King's Park

Club of the Season: Sundowns

Match of the Season: The 3-3 draw between Sundowns and Pirates during the Fifa delegation visit to Durban

Most Improved Team of the Season: Wits University

Most Media Friendly club: Ajax Cape Town

Least Media Friendly club: All clubs have been good to me

Team of the Season (4-4-2): John Tlale (Sundowns); David Kannemeyer (Ajax Cape Town), Andrew Rabutla

(Jomo Cosmos), Frank Schoeman (Sundowns), Cyril Nzama (Bush Bucks); Benjamin Mwaruwari (Cosmos), Roger Feutmba (Sundowns), Josta Makgala (Wits University), Dennis Lota (Orlando Pirates); Siyabonga Nomvete (Kaizer Chiefs) and Alain Amougou (Sundowns)

Reserves: Brian Baloyi (Chiefs); Matthew Booth (Sundowns), Ace Gulwa (Bloemfontein Celtic), Alexis Motaung (Hellenic), S'nothi Mthalane (African Wanderers), Patrick Ningiza (Moroka Swallows), Sam Magalefa (Wits)

Coach of the Season: Paul Dolezar

Referee of the Season: Jerome Damon

Assistant Referee of the Season: Reginald Motloung

Administrator of the Season: Danny Jordaan

Biggest Blunder of the Season: Safa barring under-23 players from featuring for both Olympic and senior teams

Greatest Individual Achievement: Jabu Pule for earning caps at under-23 and senior level in his first season as a professional

Flop of the Season: Mother City

Best TV Show: Panasonic World of Soccer

Best TV Commentator: Mark Gleeson

Best Radio Commentator: Ramadi Aubrey Motloung

Odd Moment of the Season: When African Wanderers and Ajax Cape Town played in identical kit belonging to Ajax Cape Town

Edgar Dassie (Pretoria News)

Footballer of the Season: Matthew Booth (Sundowns)

Most Promising Newcomer: Marco Mthembu (Kaizer Chiefs)

Best Goal of the Season: Frankie Schoeman's goal against Free State Stars at Minolta Loftus

Club of the Season: Sundowns

Match of the Season: The 3-3 Castle Premiership draw between Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at King's Park

Most Improved Team of the Season: Wits University

Most Media Friendly Club: Sundowns

Least Media Friendly Club: Free State Stars

Team of the Season (3-4-3): Michael Utting (SuperSport United), Matthew Booth, Frank Schoeman (both Sundowns); Mohamed Ouseb (Kaizer Chiefs), Roger Feutmba, Isaac Shai (both Sundowns), Stanton Fredericks (Wits University), Josep Ngake (Orlando Pirates); Alain Amougou (Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvete (Chiefs), Alton Meiring (Mother City)

Substitutes: John Tlale (Sundowns), Josta Makgala (Wits), Charles Motlohi (Sundowns), Marco Mthembu (Chiefs), S'nothi Mthalane (African Wanderers), Hendrik Gulwa (Bloemfontein Celtic), Benjamin Mwaruwari (Jomo Cosmos)

Coach of the Season: Paul Dolezar

Referee of the Season: Ian McLeod

Assistant Referee of the Season: Carlos Henriques

Administrator of the Season: Nastasia Tsichlas

Biggest Blunder of the Season: The PSL's strange decision of making Moroka Swallows captain Debo Kitenge serve suspension for a red card received during the rain-stopped match against African Wanderers, which was declared null and void

Greatest Individual Achievement: Danny Jordaan for his excellent work for the country's World Cup 2006 bid campaign

Flop of the Season: The Premier Soccer League's decision to postpone the second round league fixture between Orlando Pirates and Sundowns

Best TV Soccer Show: No show impressed me. I think they are all pathetic

Best TV Commentator: Mark Gleeson

Best Radio Commentator: Aubrey Motloung

Odd Moment of the Season: AmaZulu parting with coach Clive Barker which has now left them on the brink of relegation.

Julian Dube (The Star)

Footballer of the Season: Siyabonga Nomvete

Most Promising Newcomer: Jabu Pule

Best Goal of the Season: Thabo Mngomeni's goal during the 3-3 draw between Orlando Pirates and Sundowns

Club of the Season: Sundowns

Match of the Season: Sundowns v Orlando Pirates at King's Park

Most Improved Team of the Season: Wits University

Most Media Friendly Club: Free State Stars

Least Media Friendly Club: Santos

Team of the Season (3-5-2): Jorge Fernandez (Moroka Swallows), Frank Schoeman (Sundowns), William Mugeyi (Bush Bucks), Kaitano Tembo (SuperSport United); Dillon Sheppard (Ajax Cape Town), Charles Motlohi (Sundowns), Dennis Lota (Orlando Pirates), John Mbidzo (Santos), Thabo Mngomeni (Orlando Pirates); Benjamin Mwaruwari (Jomo Cosmos), Siyabonga Nomvete (Kaizer Chiefs)

Substitutes: Rowan Fernandez (Wits), Mohammed Ouseb (Chiefs), Themba Seli (Free State Stars), Godfrey Sapula (Cosmos), Arthur Zwane (Classic), Patrick Mayo (Bucks), Patrick Ningiza (Swallows)

Coach of the Season: John Lathan

Referee of the Season: Ian Macleod

Assistant referee: Walter Mochubela

Administrator of the Season: Danny Jordaan for his campaign for the 2006 World Cup

Biggest Blunder of the Season: The appointment of Joe Ndhlela as the PSL Chief Executive Officer while still under investigation by the Office for Serious Economic Offences

Greatest Individual Achievement: Joe Ndhlela for his ability to convince a strong PSL panel to appoint him as CEO of the league and thereafter getting a full salary while on suspension before he was finally fired

Flop of the Season: Rolf de Boer of Ajax Cape Town

Best TV soccer show: Panasonic World of Soccer

Best TV commentator: Mark Gleeson

Best Radio commentator: Joe Hudla

Odd moment of the Season: National under-23 coach Ephraim Mashaba and Chief Executive Officer of the South African Football Association (Safa) Raymond Hack swopping insults during a press conference

Matsehlane Mamabolo (Saturday Star)

Footballer of the Season: Siyabonga Nomvete (Kaizer Chiefs)

Most Promising Newcomer: Josta Makgala (Wits University)

Best Goal of the Season: Thabo Mngomeni's goal during the 3-3 draw against Sundowns at King's Park

Club of the Season: Sundowns

Match of the Season: Sundowns' 3-3 draw with Orlando Pirates at King's Park

Most Improved Team of the Season: Wits University

Most Media Friendly Club: Hellenic

Least Media Friendly Club: Moroka Swallows

Team of the Season (4-4-2): John Tlale (Sundowns); David Kannemeyer (Ajax Cape Town), Matthew Booth, Frank Schoeman (both Sundowns), Cyril Nzama (Bush Bucks); Dillon Sheppard (Ajax), Thabo Mngomeni (Orlando Pirates), Abram Nteo (Bloemfontein Celtic), Stanton Fredericks (Wits University); Dennis Lota (Pirates), Siyabonga Nomvete (Chiefs)

Reserves: Brian Baloyi (Kaizer Chiefs); Fabian McCarthy (Bloemfontein Celtic), Isaac Shai (Sundowns); Patrick Mbuthu (Chiefs), Josta Makgala (Wits University); Phumlani Mkhize (Pirates) and Patrick Mayo (Bucks)

Coach of the Season: John Lathan

Referee of the Season: Petros Mathabela

Assistant Referee of the Season: Reginald Motloung

Official of the Season: Danny Jordaan

Biggest Blunder of the Season: Safa sending Benni McCarthy back to Spain on the eve of the under-23s' departure for Cameroon after he had scored in the Amaglug-glug's 2-0 defeat of the west Africans. The team lost 2-0

Greatest Individual Achievement: Jabu Pule's rise from the RAU/Kaizer Chiefs Academy to the Amakhosi first team, and the national under-23 and senior sides

Flop of the Season: Jerome McCarthy came to Chiefs regarded as the best winger and crosser of a ball in the country, but was soon to return to Cape Town

Best Television Soccer Show: Laduma

Best Television Commentator: John Perlman

Best Radio Commentator: Jimmy L Mohlaloga

Odd Moment of the Season: Safa proclaiming they are fully behind the Amaglug-glug qualifying for Sydney 2000, but then making a ruling that barred players who have represented the senior squad from playing for the under-23s

Carl Peters (Daily News)

Footballer of the Season: Alain Amougou (Sundowns)

Most Promising Newcomer: Jabu Pule (Kaizer Chiefs)

Best Goal of the Season: Arthur Zwane's strike against Bloemfontein Celtic

Club of the Season: Wits University

Match of the Season: Sundowns v Orlando Pirates in Durban

Most Improved Team of the Season: Jomo Cosmos

Most Media Friendly Club: Manning Rangers

Least Media Friendly Club: Moroka Swallows

Team of the Season (4-4-2): Brian Baloyi (Kaizer Chiefs); Michael Manzini, Lovers Mohlala, Frankie Schoeman (all Sundowns), Helder Muianga (Manning Rangers); Thabo Mngomeni, Brendon Silent (Orlando Pirates), Isaac Shai, Roger Feutmba; Alain Amougou (all Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvete (Chiefs)

Reserves: Grant Johnson (Manning Rangers); Guy-Roger Nzeng (Orlando Pirates), David Kannemeyer (Ajax Cape Town); Charles Motlohi (Sundowns), Steve Lekoelea (Orlando Pirates); Daniel Mudau (Sundowns), Dennis Lota (Orlando Pirates)

Coach of the Season: Paul Dolezar

Referee of the Season: Clarence Prince

Assistant Referee of the Season: Thembekile Bikitsha

Administrator of the Season: Rob Moore and John Comitis for their forming of Ajax Cape Town

Biggest Blunder of the Season: Arthur Bartman against Ajax in Durban

Greatest Individual Achievement: Jabu Pule, who went from Chiefs' development centre to first team to the SA Under-23s and Bafana Bafana in the space of nine months

Flop of the Season: PSL administrators Joe Ndhlela, the chief executive officer, and First Division co-ordinator Buti Mosesi, both suspended on allegations of impropriety in same season

Best Television Soccer Show: None

Best Television Commentator: Mark Gleeson

Best Radio Commentator: Michael Abrahamson

Odd Moment of the Season: Foolishly proud Sundowns pitch up at the Rand Stadium expecting to play Pirates after Bucs had successfully asked for the game to be postponed

Rodney Reiners (The Argus)

Footballer of the Season: Siyabonga Nomvete (Kaizer Chiefs)

Most Promising Newcomer: Steven Pienaar (Ajax Cape Town)

Best Goal of the Season: Steven Pienaar's solo effort against Orlando Pirates

Club of the Season: Wits University

Match of the Season: Sundowns v Orlando Pirates in Durban

Most Improved Team of the Season: Wits University

Most Media Friendly Club: Ajax Cape Town

Least Media Friendly Club: Bafana Bafana

Team of the Season (3-5-2): Calvin Marlin (Ajax Cape Town); Helder Muianga (Manning Rangers), Frank Schoeman (Sundowns), Edelbert Dinha (Ajax Cape Town); Warren Lewis, Brandon Silent (both Orlando Pirates), John Maduka (Bush Bucks), Charles Motlohi (Sundowns), Thabo Mooki; (Kaizer Chiefs); Jean-Marc Ithier (Santos), Siyabonga Nomvete (Chiefs)

Substitutes: John Tlale (Sundowns), Jeremy Jansen (Ajax), Abram Lethebe (African Wanderers), Dillon Sheppard (Ajax), Robert Nauseb (Chiefs), Dennis Lota (Pirates) and Patrick Mayo (Bucks)

Coach of the Season: John Lathan

Referee of the Season: Daniel Bennett

Assistant Referee of the Season: Gary Kershaw

Administrator of the Season: Afzal Khan (Santos)

Biggest Blunder of the Season: Santos goalkeeper Craig Mentz's miskick in the first round of the Bob Save Super Bowl. Santos were 2-0 up against Sundowns and the blunder allowed Sundowns to pull a goal back and go on to win 3-2

Greatest Individual Achievement: Matthew Booth, unfairly discarded by Ajax, and told to prove himself by going on trial for the Cape side. Booth refused and has splattered egg on the faces of the Ajax management by becoming a star at Sundowns and the national under-23 captain, on the verge of going to the Olympics

Flop of the Season: Ajax Cape Town's Dutch striker Rolf de Boer. Arrived with much fanfare at the beginning of the season, only to be sent back to Holland

Best Television Soccer Show: Sasol Soccer Scene with Marks Maponyane

Best Television Commentator: Mark Gleeson

Best Radio Commentator: Michael Abrahamson

Odd Moment of the Season: The mix-up at Greenpoint stadium when Hellenic were supposed to play Free State Stars. A schools athletics meeting had also been scheduled to be held there. The players came out and warmed up while the relays were taking place. Stars stayed on the pitch for 10 minutes before leaving. But before they could leave, they had to wait for the athletes to complete their relay race

Jermaine Craig (Saturday Star)

Footballer of the Season: Siyabonga Nomvete (Kaizer Chiefs)

Most Promising Newcomer: Josta Makgala (Wits University)

Best Goal of the Season: Steven Pienaar's solo effort during Ajax's defeat of Orlando Pirates

Club of the Season: Sundowns

Match of the Season: Sundowns v Orlando Pirates at King's Park

Most Improved Team of the Season: Wits University

Most Media Friendly Club: Hellenic

Least Media Friendly Club: Jomo Cosmos

Team of the Season (4-4-2): John Tlale (Sundowns); David Kannemeyer (Ajax Cape Town), Matthew Booth (Sundowns), Ronnie Zondi, Cyril Nzama (both Bush Bucks); Thabo Mngomeni (Orlando Pirates), Alexis Motaung (Hellenic), Josep Ngake (Pirates), Stanton Fredericks (Wits); Siyabonga Nomvete (Chiefs), Dennis Lota (Pirates)

Substitutes: Brian Baloyi (Chiefs); Frank Schoeman (Sundowns), Isaac Shai (Sundowns), Steve Lekoelea (Pirates), Jabu Pule (Chiefs), Dillon Sheppard (Ajax), Patrick Mayo (Bucks)

Coach of the Season: John Lathan (Wits University)

Referee of the Season: Jerome Damon (appointed to Fifa panel during first full season in the PSL)

Assistant Referee of the Season: Simon Motau

Official of the Season: Danny Jordaan

Biggest Blunder of the Season: Brian Baloyi conceding first goal against Nchanga Rangers in the Caf Cup

Greatest Individual Achievement: Jabu Pule's meteoric rise from an unknown to the national team

Flop of the Season: Mother City for the worst season ever in the PSL

Best TV Show: Panasonic World of Soccer

Best TV Commentator: John Perlman

Best Radio Commentator: Michael Abrahamson

Odd Moment of the Season: Pirates coach Ronald Mkandawire skipping the post-match television interview after his team's loss to Bush Bucks in the Bob Save Super Bowl quarterfinal and sending team doctor Bobby Ramasia instead