Kaizer Chiefs’ player of the season for 2016-17 made a heartfelt pledge to chairman Kaizer Motaung that Amkahosi will not go a third campaign without a trophy next season.
Accepting player of the season at the club’s awards evening at Kyalami on Thursday evening‚ Tshabalala expressed Chiefs’ pain at having gone a second season without silverware.
Amakhosi finished fourth in the Absa Premiership and failed to reach a cup final in 2016-17.
“It’s hurting to go a season without winning any trophies. And it would be unfair and selfish for me to celebrate personal accolades‚” Tshabalala said after the prize-giving.
“I’m here to create memories and to win trophies. I want to win trophies with my teammates‚ create history with my teammates.
“And then the individual accolades after. But nonetheless it happened (the award) and I’ll take it.
“Hopefully we can come back stronger next season. We need to compete for everything that’s on offer.”
Tshabalala often carried Chiefs in midfield and attack in one of the 10-year servant of Amakhosi’s best seasons at the Soweto giants.
The 31-year old scorer of the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for Bafana Bafana in the 1-1 draw against Mexico produced perhaps his most matured‚ and tactically and technically advanced‚ campaigns for his club.
He showed his versatility playing multiple positions‚ from deep central midfield to playmaker‚ to out wide and second striker.
‘Shabba’ was Chiefs’ top scorer on eight goals in all competitions‚ at least three of which are likely to be candidates for the PSL’s goal of the season prize.
In his acceptance speech for his third Amakhosi player of the season award‚ Tshabalala made a promise to chairman Motaung that Chiefs would not go three seasons without a trophy.
Afterwards he said: “Ja‚ you know‚ our chairman is old. So we cannot have these moments all the time.
“One point is to take responsibility. And promise him that we have a team here. We are a team who can compete.
“It’s just that we need to up our game. We need to give our best week in‚ week out.”
It was pointed out to Tshabalala that such a promise was made by Chiefs’ players after a trophyless 2015-16.
“I think it’s only a fair question to ask. We made a promise and it never happened‚” he responded.
“But it has to happen eventually. We need to persist until we get it right. And make up for it not only by making promises‚ but through performance – through action as well.”
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