Bucs name best newcomer nominees

Following a four-year hiatus, the Buccaneers will this year see the return of the club's end-of-season awards thanks to their vastly improved display last season.

READ: 'Micho's men must write own page'

Having ended in second position and just five points off champions Mamelodi Sundowns, after their disastrous 2016/17 campaign in which the club recorded their worst league finish in the PSL era, individual contributions are once again set to be acknowledged.

With the 'Caltex Goal of the Season' nominees having been released earlier in the week, the build-up to the awards continues with the nominees for 'Shield Prospect of the Season'.

Innocent Maela, Lyle Foster, Justin Shonga, Marshall Munetsi and Mthokozisi Dube all enjoyed a solid breakthrough season at the club and are duly in line for the honours.

Maela starred at left-back after returning from a loan spell with Thanda Royal Zulu in 2016/17, eventually earning a call-up to the Bafana Bafana side and going on to make his debut at the Four Nations tournament in Zambia in March.

Foster was promoted from the academy in September, and gained prominence after being invited for an assessment at French Ligue 1 side Monaco, before starring for Amajita at the COSAFA U-20 Championships in December. 

READ: Bucs keeper coach lays down the gauntlet

Shonga signed from Nkwazi FC after an impressive display for the Zambian national team in the World Cup and 2018 CHAN qualifiers against Algeria and Bafana. He lived up to the hype as he caused havoc for opposition defences last season.

Munetsi was an under-the-radar acquisition from Baroka last season and, though he was on the fringes in the first half of the campaign, the 22-year-old Zimbabwean midfielder earned plaudits for his showing alongside Xola Mlambo and Musa Nyatama in the latter stages.

Dube, although the oldest of the lot, cemented his place in the Bucs starting line-up after getting a look-in in September. Hampered by injury midway through the campaign, the 25-year-old right-back was a sure starter when fully fit.

Get the latest Orlando Pirates news sent to your phone!