FC Platinum forward Rodwell Chinyengetere’s remarkable performance could see him joining the exclusive club of players who have won the Zimbabwe Soccer Star of the Year accolade on successive occasions.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Since the inception of the prestigious domestic football award in 1969, only the legendary former Dynamos striker George Shaya and former Highlanders forward Peter Ndlovu managed to win it consecutively.
Shaya and Ndlovu are some of the highly-decorated players in domestic football, with Shaya having won the top award in 1975, 1976 and 1977, while Ndlovu, who was joint winner with former Caps United’s George Nechironga in 1990, was also a recipient of the award the following year in 1991.
But Chinyengetere, who won the award last term in a memorable campaign when he guided FC Platinum to their maiden championship, is pretty poised to win the top gong again this year.
The FC Platinum forward has scored 13 goals, which have catapulted him to the top of the scoring chart, with seven matches left in the campaign.
What is perhaps more significant is that Chinyengetere has often decided contests with some of his goals. Most notable is his brace which helped bury Harare giants Dynamos in a 2-0 victory. The FC Platinum man also scored a double in the 2-0 defeat of Herentals and helped rescue his side from the jaws of defeat against Black Rhinos in a contest that ended 1-1. The forward also scored the only goal that helped FC Platinum see off a stubborn Bulawayo Chiefs and Bulawayo City. Against Chicken Inn, in May, Chinyengetere thrust FC Platinum into the lead early in the first half before Edwin Madhanhaga weighed in with the other goal, a result that helped reduce the gap between them and closest challengers Ngezi Platinum.
His scoring form was recognised after he picked the Player of the Month award for August. But he gives credit to the whole team’s effort.
“It’s all about working hard for the team. I have always been determined to win games for my team, and I believe I can still achieve more,” Chinyengetere said. “As a team, we have set objectives for that. We complement each other when we play. We play as a team and win as a team. Goals are scored for the team, not for Chinyengetere alone. As a team we celebrate together, and I believe with our current form, we could do more for the team.”
Chinyengetere’s goals have helped FC Platinum maintain their lead at the top of the league table with 62 points after 27 matches of the campaign, five more than their closest challengers Ngezi Platinum.
Although it’s now a two-horse race between the platinum miners after Chicken Inn lost two of their five matches to ZPC Kariba and Caps United to fall further behind in the race, it looks like this race is FC Platinum’s to lose.
Should FC Platinum manage to defend their league title, they will be the fourth time after Dynamos, Caps United and Highlanders to achieve that feat.