By Sports Reporter
KAIZER Chiefs forward Khama Billiat and Baroka FC goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze are the only Zimbabwean players in the running for South African Premiership Awards after being included on the list of nominees announced in Durban on Monday morning.
Despite his club’s struggles in their league campaign where they finished eighth, Billiat has been nominated for Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament after helping his team reach the final which will be played this coming weekend.
The 28-year-old winger, who has three appearances in the competition, managed to score twice and created two more goals.
Chipezeze is also vying for the Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament following his heroic saves which helped Baroka FC win the coveted silverware in December.
The 29-year-old goal minder has been one of the bright stars at Baroka FC, helping the club to their first major trophy and survival from relegation after his arrival from Zimbabwe’s Chicken Inn before the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
The South African Premiership Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 19 at the Durban International Convention Centre.
Mamelodi Sundowns’ duo of Hlompho Kekana and Themba Zwane will be up against Orlando Pirates midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch for the ultimate prize of 2018/19 PSL Footballer of the Season.
Billiat, who won the South African Premiership’s Player of the Season award in 2016, said his club’s poor form in the Absa Premiership was a big lesson to help him and the team get better next season.
He told Sport24 that they still have the Nedbank Cup final to look forward to against lower division side TS Galaxy on May 18.
“I think at the end of the day I need to be professional. It’s not always going to be great, whether I was going to be here (at Chiefs) or wherever else.
“In football, you always have to go through something that makes you better as a person and a player, and I’m not used to everything. Maybe I need to get used to this for us to be better or stronger and learn.
“This is not the season we wanted but we have learnt a lot. I’m sure we are better players and it’s just that the season is coming to an end, and we’re looking forward to the next season.
“No one wants to be in this space for long, and I’m sure that it will actually give us more as individuals to put in the field,” said the Warriors regular.