JOHANNESBURG - After some debates, the IOL’s football writers put together Extrastrong’s Team of the Season. These XI players are among those who shone consistently for their clubs in the season that comes to an end on Saturday.
It was a tough decision as there were a number of players who did well, especially in the plucky fights that Maritzburg United and Free State Stars put to upset the South African football order. But we not only had to select the best performing players, we also had to put them in a balanced starting XI.
We settled on a 3-5-2 formation which has been popular this season. The Team of Choice, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, among others, used different variations of it with different results. Maritzburg mastered it, coming up with a formation that many opponents described as awkward.
At the foundation of that formation was a solid defence and a midfield that could easily shift from attack to defence. Siphesihle Ndlovu was at the heart of that intricate balancing act.
Ndlovu leads our midfield alongside Musa Nyatama and Tiyani Mabunda. The trio did the dirty work for their teams, allowing the creative players to shine while protecting their teams with their tireless work ethic and good passing game.
Behind them is the solid trio of Siyanda Xulu, Daniel Cardoso and Gladwin Shitolo. Itumeleng Khune is in goal after keeping 15 clean sheets in 29 matches. Percy Tau is in attack.
Team of the Season
Goalkeeper: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)
Defenders: Siyanda Xulu (Maritzburg United), Daniel Cardoso (Chiefs) and Gladwin Shitolo (Orlando Pirates)
Central Midfielders: Siphesihle Ndlovu (Maritzburg), Musa Nyatama (Pirates) and Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Rightwinger: Themba Zwane (Sundowns)
Leftwinger: Luvuyo Memela (Pirates)
Strikers: Percy Tau (Sundowns) and Rodney Ramagalela (Polokwane City)
Are we on the mark with our selection or way wide off it? Let us know on twitter: @extrastrongsa and @IOLsport