Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has questioned the criteria that is used to select the coach of the month and coach of the season awards.
Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena led Sundowns to their fourth consecutive league title, with an impressive performance in the entire season.
The former Golden Arrows coach told Ukhozi FM that he is happy for AmaZulu FC coach Benni McCarthy, for winning the accolade.
However, he was left bemused as to what criteria was used to select McCarthy over him and his colleagues, as he believes their team dominated the whole season.
“We would be lying if we say we were not bothered (by not winning the coach of the season accolade), though we don’t compete for individual awards as coaches and players at Sundowns,” he said.
“My biggest wish is to understand what the judges look at in order to decide who gets those awards. For a team like ours, that played well until the end of the season, dominating 28 matches out of 30 in terms of ball possession.
“Conceding only 14 goals, scoring 49 goals, losing only one match the whole season, not losing an away match the entire season and leading second placed team by 13 points.
“What else should have happened for the coaches that I work with to get those monthly awards, before we can even talk about coach of the season?
“Not at any stage during the season where Sundowns didn’t look like they would win the league, but surprisingly in the last month of the season that’s when we got the coach of the month awards.
“That on its own leaves me with unanswered questions and it shows that something is not right. I’m not saying that because I’m not happy for Benni, he did a wonderful job for taking AmaZulu from position 12 to second position.
“He made history by guiding AmaZulu to the CAF Champions League qualification and he played 17 if not 18 matches without a loss,” said Mngqithi.
The 2009 MTN8 winning coach with Golden Arrows believes there should be an award for most improved team of the season, which he believes should have been given to AmaZulu FC or Arrows.
“I’m the first person to congratulate Benni, because I believe the work he and Mandla (Ncikazi), it’s beyond reasonable doubt that they should have been given awards for their work.
“Even their teams, according to me I don’t know why they don’t have the most improved team category in the league.
“I believe AmaZulu or Golden Arrows were supposed to get a reward for being most improved teams in the league.
“Those things show that Benni did a wonderful job, but we would like to know the keys so that we can prepare well for the test ahead. I believe the player of the season should go to the player who won most player of the month awards, the same applies to coach of the season.
“Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get the coach of the month the entire season, until the last month of the season and those are the question marks that you are left with.
“It would be great one day if the judges can explain their criteria, so that we can understand properly,” concluded Mngqithi.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter