HIGHLANDERS striker Masimba Mambare’s instant success at the Bulawayo giants has surprised even the player himself who had never imagined he would be such an instant hit.
Report by Sukholuhle Mthethwa
Mambare scooped Highlanders’ Player of the Year award in addition to the Top Goal scorer prize in a season where he scored 11 goals for the club.
He joined Highlanders at the beginning of last season from Motor Action where he did not command a regular place in the team.
Mambare, who is inspired by Warriors legend Peter Ndlovu, expressed his excitement to NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“It is a bonus for me to win the two awards. I did not expect to perform this way when the season started. I just wanted to play well for Highlanders,” said Mambare.
“It is a great achievement for me to be named as the Player of the Year and to finish the season as the Top Goal Scorer in my first season at Highlanders. It speaks volumes to win such an award at a big club like Highlanders. It is a great feeling to win the award. It is by the grace of God that I have been successful,” he said.
The former Motor Action man received $6 500 for winning the two awards.
Mambare attributed his success to the support he received from both his teammates and fans.
“My teammates have been very supportive, as well as the technical team. The fans were also cheering us up and that gave me confidence all the time. It was also easy for me to adapt well because of my former Motor Action teammates who are at Highlanders,” he said.
Bhekimpilo and Milton Ncube crossed the floor to join Highlanders from Motor Action.
He said he hopes to continue playing well for the former champions.
“Like many other players, I get my inspiration from Peter Ndlovu. I used to admire his type of play and I used to love watching him play. This also helped me because when I came to Highlanders, a big club, I saw it as a chance to get recognition as one of the best players in the country,” he said.
Mambare is one of the 11 players on the Soccer stars of the year calendar and is in the running to scoop the Soccer Star of the Year award.
He is facing very stiff competition from Dynamos midfielder Denver Mukamba, who also had a dream season.
Mukamba inspired the champions to the league title and the Mbada Diamonds Cup glory.
Mambare scored crucial goals for Highlanders in a season where Bosso lost just one league match, but still lost out to Dynamos in the championship race.