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Bidvest Wits' Thulani Hltashwayo downplays PSL Footballer of the Season chances, guns for Defender of the Season prize

Posted: 3 July 2017 Time: 21:25

Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo considers it an honour to be the only defender nominated for the 2016/17 PSL Footballer of the Season award, but has set his sights elsewhere.

The Wits skipper was named alongside Cape Town City captain Lebogang Manyama as well as Mamelodi Sundowns honcho Hlompho Kekana for the coveted prize following a sterling season in which he lead his side to a league and MTN8 double.

The stocky centre-back counts himself fortunate to have been recognised amongst players in a more advanced role than him, but has instead focussed his energy on picking up the gong in a second category for which he was nominated – the Absa Premiership Defender of the Season.

“Being nominated is an honour for me, but I know I’m up against very talented players,” said Hlatshwayo at the PSL headquarters on Monday.

“They [Manyama and Kekana] are both offensive players and being there in the top three as a defender is huge for me. I didn’t really fancy myself there, knowing how well Hlompho and ‘Lebo’ have done.

“Obviously, like I’ve said, I am happy and honoured to be nominated for the Footballer of the Season, though I have mentioned that the one I’m looking forward to is Defender of the Season,” he added.

“Because I’ve been nominated [in that category] twice before – last season and the season before – and now I’m hoping this time around I’ll manage to win it.”

The 27-year-old Bafana Bafana centre-back helped his side to 18 clean sheets in 30 appearances, while also contributing four goals, in all domestic competitions last season.

The glamorous event is set to take place next Monday evening, July 10, in Johannesburg.

Article by: Chad Klate
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