D-DAY FOR SOC­CER STAR HOPE­FULS

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Muzi­wethu Hadebe

A PANEL of ex­perts that com­prises sports jour­nal­ists, coaches and team cap­tains con­verges in Harare this morn­ing for the tra­di­tional se­lec­tion of the Cas­tle Lager Soc­cer Stars of the year. The ex­perts will also select the most out­stand­ing coach in the just ended sea­son, along­side the top goal­keeper and Un­der-20 Player of the Year. The ques­tion is who will make it into the cal­en­dar af­ter a sea­son that was de­cided on the last day with Caps United lift­ing the ti­tle af­ter an 11-year wait? His­tory has shown that the cham­pi­ons of­ten dom­i­nate the list and “Makepekepe” are likely to have most of the play­ers se­lected. Hardlife Zvirekwi who had a con­sis­tent sea­son is likely to make it to the list along­side the 2016 top goal scorer Leonard Tsipa. For a team that played as a unit for most of the sea­son it won’t sur­prise many to see a re­vived Joel Ngodzo mak­ing it to the fi­nal list. Other no­table per­for­mances from the new cham­pi­ons came from cen­tral de­fender Steven Makatuka and left back Ron­ald Pfumbidzai. Not to be out­done will be the run­ners up FC Plat­inum who con­tin­ued to play a pass­ing game through­out the sea­son. Their goal­keeper Pet­ros Mhari is a firm favourite to be on the list and for the goal­keeper of the year award. Un­der­rated for­mer Hwange mid­fielder Win­ston Mhango once more un­der­lined his grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best an­chor-men in the coun­try with an­other pol­ished sea­son and de­serves to be on the list. Wal­ter Mu­sona with nine goals this sea­son was at most of the time, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half of the sea­son, a joy to watch. High­landers who fin­ished third are likely to have a cou­ple of names as well claim­ing recog­ni­tion. If the monthly awards are any­thing to go by, the cou­ple of awards picked by Bruce Kangwa be­fore he left for Tan­za­nia should see him on the list. Other play­ers who did well in­clude Rah­man Kut­sanzira and cen­tre back Peter Muduhwa. There seems to be a grow­ing cho­rus for the in­clu­sion of Si­mon “Sc­holes” Mu­nawa who scored some spec­tac­u­lar goals for Bosso. Young Prince Dube can cap a mem­o­rable Premier­ship de­but sea­son with an ap­pear­ance in the cal­en­dar. For­mer cham­pi­ons Inn did not eas­ily Chicken have an recog­nis­able out­stand­ing player but Moses Jack­son con­tin­ued to im­press along­side vet­eran Oba­diah Tarumbwa who fin­ished the sea­son with eight goals as well as Cle­mence Matawu. De­spite a poor sea­son from Dy­namos, for­mer Motor Ac­tion and High­landers player Masimba Mam­bare had one of his best sea­sons in a blue jersey man­ag­ing five goals.

Other sig­nif­i­cant per­for­mances came from Xolisani Moyo (Bu­l­awayo City), Lib­erty Chako­roma (Ngezi Plat­inum Stars), Makundika Sakala (How Mine), Ku­dak­washe Gu­rure (Mutare City) and Hwange top striker Gift Mb­weti who man­aged nine goals.

Un­less there is a mirac­u­lous vot­ing pat­tern Lloyd Chitem­bwe de­serves the coach of the year award af­ter he led Caps United to their fifth ti­tle over­all. Nor­man Mapeza and Erol Ak­bay are also in with a shout as well as the Chibuku Su­per Cup win­ning men­tor Ton­der­ayi Ndi­raya.

The young player of the year is likely to go to Prince. In his first year in top flight foot­ball com­ing from Bosso’s Divi­sion Two side, Prince scored five goals and pro­vided nu­mer­ous as­sists. The 19-year-old also scored a big goal and pro­vided the other as Bosso broke a 10-year jinx in beat­ing Dy­namos away at Ru­faro sta­dium.

Mhari re­mains a firm favourite for the most out­stand­ing goal­keeper af­ter an­other bril­liant sea­son.

Mean­while, ac­cord­ing to the rules and reg­u­la­tions of the se­lec­tion process, any player that ac­cu­mu­lates a to­tal of 10 or more dis­ci­plinary points in Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League of­fi­cial matches within a sin­gle sea­son will be in­el­i­gi­ble for se­lec­tion.

A coach that is ex­pelled from the tech­ni­cal area five or more times in Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League of­fi­cial matches within a sin­gle sea­son will be in­el­i­gi­ble for se­lec­tion.

“For the avoid­ance of doubt the fol­low­ing dis­ci­plinary points sys­tem shall ap­ply;

An ex­pul­sion (red card) in an of­fi­cial Cas­tle Lager PSL match shall be equal to two (2) dis­ci­plinary points. A sin­gle yel­low card ac­cu­mu­lated in each of­fi­cial Cas­tle Lager PSL match shall be equal to a one (1) dis­ci­plinary point. Any player or coach who is con­victed by the Zim­babwe Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion or rel­e­vant reg­u­la­tory body of any dop­ing or match fix­ing of­fence shall be in­el­i­gi­ble for se­lec­tion,” reads the se­lec­tion cri­te­ria.

Leonard Tsipa

Rah­man Kut­sanzira

Win­ston Mhango

Hardlife Zvirekwi

Gift Mb­weti

Prince Dube

Peter Muduhwa

Si­mon Mu­nawa

Cle­mence Matawu

Bruce Kangwa

Pet­ros Mhari

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