CAPE TOWN - Thabo Nodada’s industry, commitment and lung-busting endeavour in the heart of the Cape Town City midfield was rewarded when he was named as the club’s Player of the Season at the weekend.
The prize for the 23-year-old, who has been nicknamed “Kante” by City coach Benni McCarthy, after France and Chelsea central midfielder N’Golo Kante, is well-deserved. He has been magnificent for the Citizens during the campaign.
Originally from Ixopo in KwaZulu-Natal, Nodada was part of the Mpumalanga Black Aces contingent that made the trek down to the Mother City after John Comitis purchased the PSL franchise. However, when he arrived here in 2016, he was struggling with injury and he only managed to break through this season, after the arrival of McCarthy as coach.
“The injury obviously stopped me in my tracks a little,” said Nodada. “It halted the progress I was making and how I was playing at the time. It was my first season in the PSL (with Mpumalanga Black Aces) and Muhsin (Ertugral) developed me well.
"I also learnt something new from Eric too during City’s first season in the PSL. By the third season, I was ready – and it certainly looked like my ducks were aligned because Benni (McCarthy) came in and gave me more game time. With more game time, I got better and it is great to now be recognised. I’m happy with what I’ve done this season.”
“I knew there was something special about Thabo right from the get-go. I said to the players in my first team talk that if you put in the hard work, you’ll get rewarded. My pocket-rocket has shown a lot of courage this season.“ - Benni McCarthy. #iamCityFC
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The other City awards were:
Chairman's Award: Vincent Kobola
Citizens Award: Teko Modise
Players’ Player of the Season: Robyn Johannes
Most Improved: Craig Martin