Flames midfield star Robert ‘Baggio’ Ng’ambi and blossoming defender Limbikani ‘Pupa’ Mzava’s brilliant performances in the South African flagship football league have not gone unnoticed.
Ng’ambi was named Absa Premiership’s Player of the Quarter 4 by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Tuesday while Mzava’s club Bloemfontein Celtic named him as the Young Player of the Season.
For his feat, Ng’ambi pocketed R15 000 [about K600 000] alongside Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane who was named Coach of the Quarter 4.
Mzava, who enjoyed a rich vein of consistent form at Celtic, carted home R20 000 [about K800 000].
The two players said they were humbled by the recognition.
“Special mention to my teammates and the technical staff because they are the ones who inspired me, there was good team spirit and without them, I would not be here receiving this award,” said Ng’ambi.
Ng’ambi has enjoyed a productive season where he has scored seven goals so far in the league—six short of the Golden Boot awardee Katlego Mashego of Moroka Swallows. He has also helped his team to finish the season as runners-up to Kaizer Chiefs.
“He has really come to form in Quarter 4, where he has scored crucial goals for the club and played an integral part in Platinum Stars maintaining their outside chance of attaining league glory,” SuperSport.com said about Ng’ambi.
On his part, Mzava said: “I am very excited. The award will be a motivation to do even better in the coming season.”
The 18-year-old tough-as-a-teak defender was also showered with praises by his club coach Clinton Larsen who recently told kickoff.com that he has done enough to warrant consideration for South Africa’s Young Player of the Year Award.
Flames assistant coach Ernest Mtawali, who was the first foreigner to win the Player of the Year Award in South Africa in 1985, said: “I am not surprised at all that Robert and Mzava have been recognised and my personal feeling is that everything being equal, Ng’ambi should have made the short-list for the Player of the Year Award.”
Mzava has been linked with possible invitation for trials by a number of overseas clubs, including Chelsea’s Under-20 side.