With just over a third of the Absa Premiership season behind us, the early race for the Golden Boot prize has shown encouraging signs.
Four players have scored five goals or more, meaning that at the current rate, the top scorer come the end of the season could easily have the best return in three seasons.
Just a reminder that the Golden Boot winners in the last three seasons have been Katlego Mashego (2012/13) of Moroka Swallows with 13 goals, Kaizer Chiefs’ Bernard Parker (2013/14) with 10 strikes and Moeketsi Sekola from Free State Stars (2014/15) with 14 goals.
The PSL takes a look at the full list of challengers as the league enjoys the mid-season Christmas and New Year break before resuming full-swing early next year.
Collins Mbesuma (Mpumalanga Black Aces) – 7 goals
The Zambia striker is rolling back the years at AmaZayoni. Mbesuma was the top-scorer, an in record fashion too, back in 2004/05 when he scored a PSL-high 25 goals. He may have lost some of his pace over the years, but his eye for goal, ability to hold the ball and sharpness at turning have lead to seven goals playing in 11 out of Aces’ 12 games, firing them to a surprise third spot so far. The 31-year-old also has two assists to his credit.
Andrea Fileccia (Free State Stars) – 6 goals
A new face to South African football, the Belgian has set the PSL alight with his form. He has the best average return of all the contenders thus far, scoring in six out of his seven starts. He also has one appearance as a substitute. A product of the famous Mons academy, the 23-year-old was brought to South Africa by Tom Saintfiet, who had a brief stint as Ea Lla Koto last season. He has stayed on and fought for his place, displaying super fox-in-the-box ability.
Daine Klate (Bidvest Wits) – 6 goals
One of two wingers in early contention for the top prize, Klate is another player that seems to get better with age. Now 30, the former SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates star is proving to be one of the most valuable assets in the league. Together with his six goals in 10 starts, he has six assists as well. Klate is a also a fine dead-ball specialists and he is proving to be an invaluable asset for the Students, who he has helped to second on the Absa Premiership log.
George Lebese (Kaizer Chiefs) – 5 goals
Hot on the heels of his seven goals last year, Lebese has picked up where he left off, once again carrying the Amakhosi attack. His goals have come in 10 starts. He also has two substitute appearances and has bagged two assists in the process. The 26-year-old’s pace and liveliness make him a constant threat to defences and he will be aiming to continue his form as Chiefs look to retain their title
Apart from the above-mentioned quartet, there are two players on four goals each. They are 2013/14 Player of the Season, Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits) and veteran Ajax Cape Town striker Nathan Paulse.
A further 16 players sit further back on three goals apiece. They are Jabulani Shongwe and Phakamani Mahlambi (both Bidvest Wits), Khama Billiat, Themba Zwane and Anthony Laffor (all Mamelodi Sundowns) and Aristide Bance and Erick Chipeta (Chippa United). The others are Mpho Makola (Orlando Pirates), Jeremy Brockie (SuperSport United), Jabu Maluleke (Polokwane City), Kurt Lentjies (Maritzburg United), Judas Moseamedi (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Bongi Ntuli (Platinum Stars), Danny Venter (Free State Stars), Charlton Mashumba (Jomo Cosmos) and Prince Nxumalo (Ajax Cape Town).