Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids and Dennis Onyango, the Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper have been named the Absa Premiership Coach and Player of the Month for April.
Davids, who is now in his third stint as interim coach for the coastal club, led his side to three victories from four matches during April, which saw him win his maiden Coach of the Month award.
The 35-year coach started April by guiding the ‘Team of Choice’ to a 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town, before securing a 3-1 victory over Baroka FC and completed a good month for the club with an impressive 3-2 victory in Port Elizabeth, away to Chippa United. Maritzburg scored eight goals in their four matches played in April.
Davids got the nod from the judges for his tactical acumen in the manner in which he managed to get his side to play exciting football and earn good results with a team that doesn’t possess the same quality and big name players as some of the big teams campaigning in the Absa Premiership. He was also commended in turning their home ground, the Harry Gwala stadium, into a fortress for Maritzburg.
A key figure in Sundowns’ incredible Absa Premiership title challenge over the past month has been Onyango – who shared the podium at the Premier Soccer League offices with Davids after he was announced as the Player of the Month for April, the first goalkeeper to recognized for this award during this campaign (2016/17).
The Ugandan shot stopper was recognized for his stellar performances in goals during this period, which saw the Brazilians go five matches without a conceding a single goal. He was the pillar of strength for the defending champions and often picking up the pieces whenever the defence was beaten by opposing attackers.
Onyango pipped a player that has become a regular at the monthly awards this season Lebogang Manyama from Cape Town City, Maritzburg United captain Kurt Lentjies and Mogakolodi Ngele of Bidvest Wits, to the monthly gong.
Cape Town-born Davids won the coach of the month award ahead of Bidvest Wits’ Gavin Hunt, Pitso Mosimane from Mamelodi Sundowns, Cape Town City’s Eric Tinkler and Steve Komphela, the Kaizer Chiefs coach.
The Players and Coach of the Month were selected by a panel of judges made up of members of the media and football analysts and was convened by Farouk Khan.