England-based striker coach Scott Chickelday has opened up about his stay at Orlando Pirates and gave his support to Monnapule Saleng to win the Player of the Season award.

Chickelday made an immediate impact at Pirates after joining Pirates in early January and his departure after only five weeks at the club came as a surprise, especially after the Soweto giants were finding the back of the net on a regular basis.

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The English coach, who is back in the United Kingdom, has opened up about the quality levels in the PSL and says he noticed after working with players at the Buccaneers, that technically they are at a high level but still lack tactical awareness and game understanding, which could be due to lack of proper development from grassroots level.

The 48-year old coach, however, was full of praise for Pirates forward Saleng and says he would be surprised if he did not win the Player of the Season award.

“I thought the quality levels were very high, I thought maybe sometimes tactical awareness and game understanding in an area where it just needs to improve a little bit,” Chickelday said in an interview on SAFM Sport.

“But technically, I could not falter any player out there you know. I worked day to day with Saleng, he’s an outstanding player, he’s having an outstanding season.

“I would be very surprised if he doesn’t get Player of the Year this season, he’s a marvellous individual and he’s such a good player,” he said.

The former Tottenham Hotspur coach went on to stress that South African football has to pay more attention to grassroots football for players to be fully developed once they reach the PSL level but he was still blown away by the quality at the Soweto giants, particularly of Saleng.

“I just think sometimes it’s the game understanding, where players lack a little bit. But you know it’s maybe just lack of education when they were younger and grassroots coaching, which is not the fault of anyone,” he continued.

“But like I said, when it gets to the top level of the PSL, they’ve got some real quality there.

“I love everything about him (Saleng), he’s got explosive pace, he’s rapid, he’s brave, he’s confident to shoot from anywhere, he’s very well balanced with his goals and assists.

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“He’s got the hunger and desire. For me he was the player that stood out in South Africa of the whole PSL.

“I loved watching him and he was a pleasure to work with and like I said, I’d be very surprised if he never got Player of the Season this year,” he added.

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