THE announcement of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Soccer Stars of the Year for 2017 this evening is set to trigger debate following a season where no player really stood head and shoulders above the rest.
BY HENRY MHARA
Coach, referee, goalkeeper and rookie of the year awards will also be handed out while top goalscorer Dominic Chungwa will receive his Golden Boot award.
The most disciplined team will also be rewarded.
However, it is the ultimate prize, the Soccer Star of the Year, that will no doubt, attract the most attention when the awards are announced.
The winner was voted for by a panel of selected sports journalists, coaches and captains of all the 18 Premiership teams when they met a fortnight ago.
While the best 11 players, the Soccer Stars of the Year, who were voted for were announced on the same day, the other categories were kept under wraps for tonight’s occasion.
Rodwell Chinyengetere and Kelvin Moyo from champions FC Platinum made the cut into the 11 best footballers of the season, and should be favourites to land the big one for the simple reason that they guided their team to the title.
The Dynamos duo of skipper Ocean Mushure and striker Christain Ntouba are other big contenders, with the former credited for leading a poorly assembled team to a commendable second-place finish on the log standings.
Ntouba made a stunning breakthrough season and scored 12 goals in the league. The Harare giants’ charge towards the title also owes much to the form of the Cameroonian, who has consequently attracted a lot of interest from South African clubs.
Ngezi Platinum provided three players on the “calendar” in Terrence Dzvukamanja, Qadr Amini and Tichaona Mabvura, but it is the latter who had an impressive and consistent season and it won’t be a surprise if he makes it into the top three.
Caps United’s Chungwa scored 17 goals and firmly put himself as one of the contenders.
The Rookie of the Year should be a contest between Yadah’s exciting winger Leeroy Mavunga and Highlanders’ Bukhosi Ncube.
If Ncube nicks it, he will be the club’s only representative at this year’s awards. Bosso’s season of under-achievement was underlined by the absence of a single player from their camp on the Soccer Stars list for the first time in eight years.
The Coach of the Year is another category that looks to attract quite some interest, with FC Platinum’s Norman Mapeza odds-on favourite to win it, but Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa also stands a good chance.
Soccer Stars of the Year finalists: Rodwell Chinyengetere, Elvis Moyo, Ocean Mushure, Christian Ntouba, Tichaona Mabvura, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Qadr Amini, Clemence Matawu, Moses Jackson, Devon Chafa, Dominic Chungwa