by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – LUKE Fleurs is prioritising the team’s interests ahead of personal glory as Supersport United and the player experience contrasting fortunes to season-end.
Supesport United endured arguably their worst conclusions to a topflight campaign, with whom their top eight status was decided on the last match before the season curtains came down.
On the other hand, defender Fleurs completed his most impressive season to date when he was voted DStv Premiership Young Player of the Season.
Fleurs capped a breakthrough campaign called-up to the Bafana Bafana preliminary squad ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAF) 2023 qualifiers.
The award and call-up both came in the same week as United dismissed Orlando Pirates 2-1 in the crucial encounter.
“It’s been a really good week,” centreback Fleurs said in an interview with CAJ News Africa.
“Getting called up and the nomination … I feel like the hard work is paying off and people are recognising my talent. Overall, I feel good that I’m out there,” Fleurs said.
However, prior to beating Orlando Pirates as well as winning his award, Fleurs’ Supersport mood was a bit low.
He says the nomination for the individual accolade and callup to national team coach Hugo Broos soften the blow from his side’s struggles in the Premiership.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a relief,” Fleurs said.
“Hopefully we get the result against Pirates (won match). That will be a relief,” the Cape Town-born central defender said.
The victory over Orlando Pirates saw Supersport topple Golden Arrows from the top eight.
This underlines a difficult campaign for Matsatsantsa a Pitori.
Despite the team’s challenges, Fleurs showed some progress and enjoyed his best run since his debut against the now-defunct Bloemfontein Celtic in November 2018.
This season, he has featured 21 times in the league, twice in the Nedbank Cup and once in the MTN8.
For the DStv Young Player of the Season, the 22-year-old clinched the top accolade after outclassing rivals Athenkhosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch FC) and Kwame Peprah (Orlando Pirates) respectively.
He has been called together with teammates Jesse Donn and Ronwen Williams to the national team to contest Group K with Liberia and Morocco.
– CAJ News