Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns and Teboho Moloi, coach of Chippa United, during the Absa Premiership Player and Coach awards on Monday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Teboho Moloi was on Monday afternoon rewarded for having taken the Absa Premiership by storm in his first job as head coach – leading Chippa United to the top half of the table following a poor start and enjoying a 10-game unbeaten run.

The former Orlando Pirates midfielder was awarded with the Coach of the Month for November alongside Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana, who picked up the player’s version of the gong.

“I envied Clinton Larsen (Golden Arrows coach) last year when he won one of these awards because we used to play together, and now he was doing well as a head coach,” Moloi said.

Chippa’s unbeaten streak came to a half on Saturday night when Ajax Cape Town narrowly beat them 1-0 to deny them a chance to move to the top of the Premier League table.

“Maybe I was too hard on them,” Moloi explained. “We wanted to give the chairman something to celebrate, and I think the players also wanted to thank me for having come in and pushed them to being so close to the top of the log.

“But I think this was a lesson learnt for me. It’s not always about me – the individual – in football.”

Sundowns were the ones that ascended to the summit of the log instead after beating Arrows 1-0 in KwaMashu a day after Chippa’s defeat.

The Brazilians currently have three games in hand, which could aid them in pulling away from the chasing pack with only half of the campaign gone.

But their captain warned against getting carried away, even though he admitted having matches outstanding was some kind of advantage.

“It would be silly to think the league has been won already when it is so early,” said Kekana. “We are going to take each game as it comes and put in the effort we have been putting in all the games we have played so far.

“Of course we want to remain top of the log until the end of the season.”  


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