The Chronicle

Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau

The organisers of the Castle Lager Soccer Star awards ceremony could be forced to shelve the presentation of the Golden Boot award to a later date.

The Soccer Stars’ banquet, which celebrates the Golden Jubilee of the awards ceremony this year, is set to be held tomorrow at Manna Resorts in Harare.

The awards are running the banner: “50 Years of Shining Stars.” But the awards ceremony this year takes place before the conclusion of the Premiership fixtures.

The league programme has spilled into December and is now set to finish on the weekend of December 14-15, according to the fixtures released this week.

This has presented a challenge to the organisers of the Castle Lager Premiership Soccer Stars of the Year banquet. 

Traditionally, the Golden Boot winner is also crowned at the glittering ceremony.

But, this year, it looks another ceremony could be organised separately for the Golden Boot winner.

Delta Beverages channel marketing executive, Irimayi Muzorewa, yesterday said they were still conducting consultations with their stakeholders. 

“We are still consulting with the Premier Soccer League on that one. So, I cannot comment what will happen on that particular matter at this point. 

“Otherwise, the preparations for this event are going on very well,” said Muzorewa.

The eleven Soccer Star of the Year finalists selected last week are set to be honoured tomorrow. 

The winner, and his two runners-up, along with the Under-20 Player of the Year, the Goalkeeper of the Year and the Referee of the Year will be rewarded at the special banquet.  

However, the identity of the Golden Boot winner is yet to be known as there are three players with the potential to upstage former Chicken Inn forward, Clive Augusto’s 14 goals. 

There are two rounds of matches remaining.

Augusto is the leading scorer, even though he left South Africa mid-season. 

Dynamos’ Evans Katema is the closest challenger with 12 goals but there are fears the dreadlocked forward could be miss next Tuesday’s penultimate match against Harare City because of accumulating yellow cards. 

The PSL are yet to confirm the suspension. 

Katema, however, should be available for the last game away to Triangle.

TelOne’s man-of-the-moment, King Nadolo, and the evergreen Triangle skipper Ralph Kawondera, sitting on 11 goals apiece, are also in the hunt. 

Nadolo has been the most prolific player in the Premiership in the second half of the season.

He joined TelOne during the mid-season transfer window and has raced to an impressive 11 goals and five assists.

The former Highlanders player, who turned 24 yesterday, has been key to TelOne’s battle for survival.

He is tipped to continue with his prolific form going into the final two games against Hwange and Chicken Inn.

The Premiership season this year ran behind schedule because of the numerous disruptions encountered during the year.

This has forced the authorities to postpone the season-ending Castle Challenge Cup which features the league title winners and the Chibuku Super Cup champions.

The Super Cup will now be played early next year as the season opener.

PSL spokesperson, Kudzai Bare, said the league this season faced numerous disruptions.

“We had a congested fixture this year and, if we factor in the international matches and the Afcon and then Triangle and FC Platinum playing in Caf competitions it was bound to be difficult. 

“Next year we should be starting the season earlier,” said Bare.