South African crack football outfit Kaizer Chiefs have honoured their former Malawian captain Patrick ‘General’ Mabedi.
Mabedi was awarded the Chairman’s Award alongside fellow Chiefs legends—former goalkeeper Brian Baloyi and Cyril Nzama—during the club’s end-of-season awards function held in Midrand, South Africa, at the weekend.
The former tough-as-a-teak defender who also captained the Flames, played for Chiefs for eight years between 1998 and 2006 before he switched to another top Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Moroka Swallows where he ended his lengthy playing career.
And speaking in an interview yesterday, the former Bata Bullets [now Big Bullets] captain said he felt humbled to be recognised for his contribution to Amakhosi by management.
“To me, it is something special because it shows that the Chiefs family appreciate the contribution I made to the team and I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the board chairperson [Kaizer Motoung] and the rest of the team,” said Mabedi who is now Flames assistant coach.
Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune took home the big awards at the function after guiding the club to a league and cup double.
Barely a week ago, the Amakhosi skipper cleaned up at the Premier Soccer League awards where he edged Flames midfield maestro Robert Ng’ambi for the Player of the Season Award and he was back in the spotlight on Friday night in Midrand, where Chiefs players were rewarded for their efforts during the 2012/13 season.
Meanwhile, Ng’ambi has said despite failing to win the top prize, he still has his head held high.
“I thought Khune was an odds-on favourite to win the award because he had a fantastic season for and played a vital role in their PSL championship campaign. My personal feeling is that he deserved it.
“So, yes, I would have loved to win, but I am not disappointed because just the recognition itself was a big feat and it means a lot to me ,” said Ng’ambi.
He added: “It’s very rare that one makes it among the top three out of over 400 players”.