Rulani or Riveiro? Ex-Kaizer Chiefs coach picks his Coach of the Season

Ahead of the upcoming PSL awards ceremony this week, a former Kaizer Chiefs coach has revealed his pick for the DStv Premiership Coach of the Season.

The highly anticipated 2023/24 PSL Awards are being held on Sunday, 23 June.

The Coach of the Season award is based solely on their league performances. Usually, the award is typically given to the coach whose team won the league.

However, in the 2020/21 season, the award was bestowed upon Benni McCarthy after turning AmaZulu FC fortunes around. Usuthu finished in number two in the league and therefore qualified for CAF Champions League.

This past DStv Premiership season, Mamelodi Sundowns fell short of their dream of an invincible DStv Premiership season. Their quest was ended by Cape Town City in the final match of the league, where they suffered a 1-0 home defeat.

However, they set a new record winning the league by 73 points – eclipsing their previous mark of 71 set in the 2015-16 season under the guidance of Pitso Mosimane. Sundowns ended the campaign with 23 points ahead of second-placed Orlando Pirates.

Middendorp throws his support behind Mokwena for the award, citing the massive 23-point gap between Orlando Pirates and Sundowns in the standings. He clearly believes Riveiro doesn't come close.

ERNST MIDDENDORP PICKS HIS DSTV PREMIERSHIP COACH OF THE SEASON

“I'm 100% behind Rulani Mokwena,” Middendorp told Soccer Laduma.

“I am saying this because I believe that Orlando Pirates in terms of quantity and in terms of individual quality has the same level as Mamelodi Sundowns.

“If you have a front that can afford to have (Tshegofatso) Mabasa sitting on the bench with (Evidence) Makgopa playing, while (Zakhele) Lepasa is not even involved in anything, but if in the end you are 23 points behind Sundowns with all the resources and money spent, sorry.

“For me, it's 100% Rulani Mokwena and nobody else. With all due respect, fantastic job from Steve Barker and Sead Ramovic and the others who have done a good job. 

“There are a few others who have done a good job, and you can name them, they are four, five or six, but Rulani for me is a deserving candidate.”

OTHER AWARDS NOMINEES

PSL Footballer of the Season: Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC), Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns)

DStv Premiership Player’s Player of the Season: Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC), Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns)

DStv Premiership Coach of the Season: Steve Barker (Stellenbosch FC), Rulani Mokwena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Jose Riveiro (Orlando Pirates)

DStv Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season: Badra Sangare (Sekhukhune United), Sage Stephens (Stellenbosch FC), Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns)

DStv Premiership Defender of the Season: Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Deano Van Rooyen (Stellenbosch FC), Tapelo Xoki (Orlando Pirates)

DStv Premiership Midfielder of the Season: Sanele Barns (Richards Bay), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Devin Titus (Stellenbosch FC)

DStv Premiership Young Player of the Season: Shandre Campbell (SuperSport United), Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates), Ime Okon (SuperSport United)

MTN8 Last Man Standing: Sipho Chaine (Orlando Pirates), Zakhele Lepasa (Orlando Pirates), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates)

Carling Knockout Cup Player of the Tournament: Thabo Moloisane (Stellenbosch FC), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC), Devin Titus (Stellenbosch FC)

Nedbank Cup Player of the tournament: Tshegofatso Mabasa (Orlando Pirates), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC)

Nedbank Cup Most Promising Player of the Season: Shandre Campbell (SuperSport United), Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates), Devin Titus (Stellenbosch FC)

DStv Diski Challenge Rewired Player of the Season: Jody Ah Shene (Cape Town City) Ntando Nkosi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Langelihle Phili (Stellenbosch FC)

Referee of the Season: Sikhumbuzo Gasa, Philangenkosi Khumalo, Abongile Tom

Assistant Referee of the Season: Cledwin Baloyi, Lalelani Mngadi, Romario Phiri

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Nkosiyabuya Sithole

Nkosiyabuya Sithole, a young and rising sports journalist based in Durban, South Africa, harbors a deep passion for football. Nevertheless, he aspires to become a well-rounded journalist, adept in various areas of the field.

Nkosi's career began in 2020, working as a home-based writer during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since written for various websites, including Briefly News, FiND-iT News, and The South African. Attending live sporting events is a particular pleasure for him, as they provide opportunities for interaction with sports personalities.

Outside of the office, he's a God-fearing and affable young man.