Caps United and FC Platinum strikers William Manondo and Walter Musona have naturally dominated Soccer Stars of The Year discussions, but there other players, who without attracting big headlines, have quietly and consistent loyalty went about their business to lift their clubs.
One such player is Herentals attacker Tino Benza who led his team to a respectable 48 points, an eighth-place finish and streets away from the relegation battles.
Benza, son of club owner Innocent, made an impressive 11 assists to go with the four goals to his name meaning that he had 15 goal involvements for his club in the league alone.
While he may not crop up as a candidate for the main individual prize, he makes a big shout for a place among the best 11 players of the season, having stood out for Herentals in what is their best season in the topflight so far.
The Students proved a tough proposition especially playing at home and they enjoyed a comfortable campaign which will culminate in a Chibuku Super Cup final contest against Bulawayo Chiefs at the weekend.
Other names likely to feature on the calendar include the likes of Highlanders forward; Divine Mhindirira, WhaWha’s Calum English-Brown, Blessing Majarira of Herentals, Eli Ilunga of Black Rhinos, Bulawayo City’s Melikhaya Ncube, Dynamos defender Frank Mukarati, Ngezi Platinum defender Carlos Mavhurume, FC Platinum defender Gift Bello and Yadah defender Lenox Mucheto, who all impressed throughout the season.
They will, however, face competition from several other stars including FC Platinum midfielder Blessing Moyo — who was one of the outstanding players for the Zvishavane team. His team mate Thandewenkosi Ngwenya also shone brightly and should make an appearance on the calendar. The season, though witnessed stiff competition among goalkeepers, among them Taimon Mvula of Dynamos, Nelson Chadya of Ngezi Platinum, and Chicken Inn’s Bernard Donovan
For the Rookie Player Of The Year, Herentals goalkeeper -Takudzwa Chikosi is odds on favourite but will face competition from WhaWha’s Jayden Bakare with nine goals to his name, while Tinotenda Musariranwa of Ngezi Platinum and Junior Makunike of Dynamos are strong contenders too.
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