JOHANNESBURG – Percy Tau is unfazed by the mammoth challenge the South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan set for him after he handed Tau the Footballer of the Season award.
Tau was the big winner at the Premier Soccer League awards hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday night.
The Mamelodi Sundowns star bagged the Footballer of the Season award – voted for by the 16 Premier Division coaches – the Absa Premiership Players’ Player of the Season, voted for by his peers, and the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot he shared with Rodney Ramagalela after the pair ended on 11 goals each.
Jordaan challenged the 24-year-old to lead Bafana Bafana to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after they failed to qualify for this year’s edition that will be played in Russia from next month.
“No. There’s no pressure. I spoke to the president a lot of times, and he has said a lot of good things about me before and he has challenged me before. This is one of those challenges,” Tau said.
Tau has shown that he reacts well to challenges.
His Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane challenged him to win the Footballer of the Season and the Golden Boot awards last season.
He didn’t reach that objective last season, but he did so in style in the campaign that ended this month.
“He told me last season about being Footballer of the Year,” Tau said. “He said that he wants me to be the top goal-scorer and Footballer of the Year because he believes in me.
“But then last season was a different story. Things didn’t work out for us. I just played along with it.
“It’s one of those things that I need to work on in my game, to be mentally strong so that such remarks don’t affect me because it was a big challenge.
“It’s always a reference. You guys always asked me about being Footballer of the Year (after Mosimane made it public that he wants me to win it). It made me stronger mentally.
“I knew that even if I didn’t win this award, in the eyes of the coach, I was going to be his Footballer of the Year. All I can say is that thank you, and I am so grateful. I enjoy spending time with him because I learn a lot.”