Analysing Coach of the Season nominees Fadlu Davids, Pitso Mosimane and Milutin Sredojevic
Posted: 28 May 2018 Time: 16:01
With the PSL Awards ceremony now just a day away, KickOff.com continues to bring you a statistical breakdown of all the candidates in the build up to the prestigious event.
The curtain will officially close on the 2017/18 PSL season tomorrow, when the league’s top performers will be recognised for their efforts across the campaign at the always-glamorous PSL Awards ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Over the past week KickOff.com has been analysing the nominees in each major category, giving an overview of their season and the merits for their nomination.
We continue our analysis with the Coach of the Season category, which this year pits Fadlu Davids, Pitso Mosimane and Milutin Sredojevic against each other.
Never regarded as a PSL giant, Maritzburg United this season raised many eyebrows, going beyond all expectations and punching well above their weight to secure a top-four finish by the end of the campaign. Fighting off relegation by the skin of their teeth to finish 14th two seasons ago, a seventh-place finish last season was a club record, with Davids jumping in as interim coach twice to lose just two of the 14 games he was in charge of that year.
Handed the head coaching role full-time ahead of this campaign, Davids was given an opportunity to prove his worth from the start, and despite a difficult patch a few months in – with no wins in eight games – and even with the loss of key players Evans Rusike and Denis Weidlich midway through the campaign, as well as dealing with the tragedy of two deaths in the squad, the 37-year-old was able to get the best out of his troops. His tactical nous revealed his calibre as an ever-improving coach as he guided the Team of Choice to a record-high fourth-place finish with 11 wins and eight draws from their 30 games.
Despite the resources at Mamelodi Sundowns’ disposal, the fact remains that any coach in charge still needs to galvanise the squad and deliver what expectant fans demand, which is never an easy task. Yet that is what Pitso Mosimane has done, returning the Absa Premiership trophy to Chloorkop – a third triumph in his five years in Pretoria.
Competing on various fronts and rightfully singing the constant tune of “game management”, Mosimane’s intelligence, game-planning and control came to the fore in leading his side to championship glory, playing ugly when need be to grind out results while at other times entertaining the mass of yellow-clad supporters in the stands in a one-sided drubbing.
Winning 18 of the 30 league games, three more than runners-up Pirates, Sundowns’ tally of 60 points left them five clear of The Bucs by the end of the season as Mosimane helped deliver the club’s eighth league crown of the PSL era.
Brought in last August to help steady a sinking Orlando Pirates ship following one of the worst seasons in their history after an 11th-place finish, ‘Micho’ had a lot of work to do in order to awaken the sleeping Soweto giants.
Yet the Serbian, with his vast experience across the African continent, has helped The Bucs turn the corner this season in his second stint at the helm, guiding the club to a commendable second-place finish in the league. Despite not claiming instant silverware, improvements within the team are plain to see, with Pirates playing an entertaining brand of football under the careful watch of both Micho and Rhulani Mokwena. Pirates lost the least amount of games (five) of all PSL teams, winning 15 and drawing 10 on their way to their runners-up finish.
Who do you feel is most deserving of the Coach of the Season award?