Brilliant! Stars will pick goal of the month winner

I want to congratulate the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for coming up with one of the most innovative and progressive ideas in their judging for the 2022/23 season awards.

The league has decided to rope in former SA greats and superstars Benni McCarthy and Steven “Schillo” Pienaar to adjudicate in the DStv Premiership Goal of the Month category.

A panel of football journalists will then deliberate on the final winner. In past seasons, fans decided the winner by means of voting. While this exercise was praised for involving the game’s main stakeholders, the supporters really botched it up and made a mockery of the award.

Players who played for clubs with the biggest supporter base were almost guaranteed an automatic triumph – whether they did or did not deserve the accolades. The PSL explained their new perspective and stance: “In line with keeping up with innovations in the DStv Premiership, South African football legends Benni McCarthy and Steven Pienaar spearheaded the selection of the DStv Premiership Goal of the Month award, in a new 2022/23 season format.

“The monthly award recognising the best goals in the league needed to be revitalised, with the winner now decided by the subjective opinion of SA football greats who have played and shone in both domestic and international leagues for many years,” the league said.

“The DStv Premiership Goal of the Month, previously voted for by football fans, is in honour of the best goal scored each month.

“Goals from each month were made available to the legends to select the winning Goal of the Month.

“McCarthy and Pienaar have picked their Goal of the Month winners from August until the end of March,” they said.

Without saying it, the PSL has finally opened their eyes and realised that the sugar-coated R50 000 prize money has more often than not, landed in the hands of the wrong candidate.
“Goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke was the biggest victim of the previously flawed routine. His overheard bicycle kick for Baroka FC against Orlando Pirates in 2016 was good enough for Fifa, but not the PSL.”

The eccentric goalkeeper’s goal will linger in our minds for the rest of our lives. With the clock ticking, the lanky shot-stopper paced forward like a giraffe. A corner kick was played, and a Pirates defender cleared to safety when Masuluke, with his back to the Bucs goals, leaped into the air and scissor-kicked the ball into the top corner, leaving the entire Mzansi in a state of disbelief. His celebration too, was equally sublime and within no time, the goal was trending worldwide.

At the PSL Awards function, Kaizer Chiefs’ Siphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala’s typical goal was voted as the winner by supporters, mainly die-hard fans.

Like most South Africans, Masuluke was shattered but three months later, world governing body Fifa nominated him for the Puskas annual award – the local supporters were left shamefaced.

He was in the company of greatness at the glittering awards function in Zurich, where superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane admitted that the Limpopo-born goalkeeper’s goal was the best. But because of the voting system, Masuluke once more missed out to Arsenal’s Oliver Giroud for the Puskas Award for the best goal in the world.

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