Khune remains Soweto's top gun

Premiership

Itumeleng Khune’s popularity amongst fans remains undisputed as he continues to lead the Carling Black Label votes, with just over a week before the pre-season contest.

Kaizer Chiefs will face their Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium on August 1 with fans not allowed for the first time since this competition came into existence in 2011.

Though Khune last played in April, during what wasn’t a great season by his own standards – conceding 25 goals in 18 games, he remains the fans’ favourite choice.

The veteran keeper has the highest number of votes of players from both clubs, having surpassed the 172 000-mark as of Wednesday.

Scroll through the gallery above to view the most popular among the votes for Chiefs and Pirates respectively

'Itu' has traditionally been the fan favourite throughout the years of this competition and continues to garner the most votes, even when the last three seasons have not been anywhere near his best as he featured in less than 20 games in each of those campaigns.

Samir Nurkovic is currently in second place with just under 170 000 votes, demonstrating how much of an impact the Serbian has made on the Amakhosi faithful.

Though the past season wasn’t his best, Nurkovic is the subject of transfer speculation yet again despite being happy at the club, unlike last year when he was unsettled and pushing for an improved contract.

Also up in the top-three bracket, despite coming off the back of a disappointing season, is Khama Billiat, who scored just twice through an injury-ravaged campaign.

The Zimbabwe international is the only other player into six digits at Chiefs and is nearing 110 000.

For Pirates, Gabadinho Mhango has the highest votes with just under 100 000, though the 2020/21 season was also not his personal best as he netted just six times.

The latest order of votes sees Richard Ofori on just under 90 000 and Zakhele Lepasa also nearing 90 000, as they complete the top three for The Bucs.

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