FC Platinum forward Rodwell Chinyengetere is tipped to shine the most in local football’s glitziest and most glamorous night of the year at the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League awards ceremony in Harare this evening.
by Kevin Mapasure
The top-flight will decorate its finest players, coaches as well as referees.
While the Referee of the Year award winner will remain a secret until the night, the Soccer Star of the Year and Coach of the Year gong recipients look quite clear even though the organisers have managed to keep results of last week’s vote well-secured.
There was hardly competition for FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza in a league where his team ran out winners almost trouble-free even though Ngezi Platinum Stars gave a good fight until they lost their way and allowed their fellow platinum miners to coast along.
In the end, the Zvishavane-based side retained the crown after finishing 13 points better than their nearest rivals, who had parted ways with their main tactician Tonderai Ndiraya upon realising they were losing the battle against FC Platinum.
It was a season where FC Platinum suffered just four defeats and considering that Mapeza had to take a break after an injury, only to come back and win one Coach of the Month award after another, this was a remarkable feat.
There is hardly any reason why Mapeza could be denied the coaches’ main prize as there wasn’t any other as outstanding as he was in leading his team.
If ever there is any competition, then maybe it may be Herentals’ Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva, who guided the team to a sixth place finish in their maiden season in the top-flight.
But still, denying Mapeza the crown on such grounds would be stretching it.
Like Mapeza, Chinyengetere who won the Soccer Star of the Year award last year, is expected to take his place on the top place of the podium tonight.
Chinyengetere has been as outstanding as he was again last year, but like 12 months ago, his main rival is teammate Kelvin Moyo. Last year, Moyo finished second ahead of Dynamos defender Ocean Mushure.
Moyo has been the pillar for the team at the back and has had another consistently good season, but Chinyengetere had another brilliant season where he powered the miners with important goals.
With 17 goals under his belt, Chinyengetere provided a third of his team’s total of 52 goals on his own and he finished as the highest goal scorer in the league. For that he is already guaranteed a piece of silverware and cash prize for the Top Goal Scorer of the Year award.
FC Platinum conceded the least number of goals in the league after letting in just 14, and a lot of the credit for that is given to Moyo.
Soccer Star of the Year finalists
Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), David Temwanjira (ZPC Kariba), Farai Madhananga (FC Platinum), Godknows Murwira (Ngezi Platinum), Innocent Mucheneka (Chicken Inn), Joel Ngodzo (Caps Utd), Kelvin Moyo (FC Platinum), Michael Charamba (Ngezi Platinum), Nhamo Lameck (Triangle), Phineas Bamusi (Triangle), Rodwell Chinyengetere (FC Platinum)