South Africa-based forward Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango has come out of his shell to comment on his omission from the list of Premier Soccer League Player of the Season nomineees, saying he was also surprised.
The Orlando Pirates hitman, who jointly won the Golden Boot Award with Namibian forward Peter Shalulile on 16 goals, said he felt he deserved to be among the nominees.
“I would say winning the actual award would have been a tall order because there was a time I struggled, especially when I went seven games without scoring.
“We also failed to win a silverware as a team which was critical, but I still felt I did enough to be on the list of nominees. Otherwise, how do you explain Shalulile’s inclusion?
“But I am not bitter, as people we look at things differently and I congratulate all the winners. My solace is, of course, winning the golden boot.
On his targets for the new season, Gaba said his focus will be to help Pirates win silverware and he is confident the entire team can deliver that in the near future.
“You can win a top goal-scorer award, but at the end of the day, what matters most is what we achieve as a team. This club is due a trophy and that will be my main focus. I believe that with the players that we have, we can achieve that,” he said.
His views were shared by Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer, who was quoted by supersport.com as having said: “We need a team, that’s the focus, a team and not one player. It’s good for us to have [quality] players, but we cannot win like that. Gaba scored 17 goals, but we finished in third place. If he scored 15 and wins no trophy and [Pirates] win a title that is better for me. But when both are possible, that is the best.”
On Thursday, Gaba also missed out on the Goal of the Season Award which went to Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns for his beauty against Cape Town City.
He said: “All the goals that were nominated were classic, but there had to be one winner and congratulations to Hlompho.
Gaba is set to face his compatriot Limbikani ‘Pupa’ Mzava who is tipped to make his debut for Amazulu FC tomorrow.
However, as at noon yesterday the estranged Flames captain was not certain if he will be available for selection as his registration process was yet to be finalised.
Said Mzava: “I should have a clear picture by this evening [yesterday] after training as to whether the registration process has been finalised. But I am ready and looking forward to breaking into the team.”
Baroka FC vice-captain Gerald Phiri Jnr, whose side gets their league campaign underway against Maritzburg United today, said his target is to help his club to a top eight finish. He said: “Last season, we had to fight relegation which was not good. This time, we are aiming high.”