2016 BEST OF BEST FC Platinum, Caps United dominate soccer stars
CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League 2016 champions Caps United and runners up FC Platinum players dominated the Soccer Stars of the Year finalists calendar by contributing six players between themselves.
Giants Dynamos and Highlanders weighed in with a player each during a selection process that had 52 panellists who were made up of coaches and their captains as well as journalists from various media houses.
Golden boot winner Leonard Tsipa, his teammates Hardlife Zvirekwi and Ronald Pfumbidzai all made it into the calendar for Makepekepe while the Midlands side FC Platinum have Soccer Star of the Year favourites Petros Mhari and Winston Mhango as well as Walter Musona gracing the calendar. Mhari is also in the running for the Goalkeeper of the Year award after keeping an incredible 18 clean sheets this season.
“I am delighted to have been selected among the country’s best players. This has been a team effort and all credit goes to FC Platinum as a team. It humbles to be selected for such a prestigious accolade and all I can do is to keep my head high and aim for more in my football career,” said Mhari.
Highanders’ Rahman Kutsanzira, according to the convenor of experts Steve Vickers missed the cut by a single vote.
Making a return to the calendar was Chicken Inn’s veteran midfielder Clemence Matawu who ruled the roost 10 years ago when he was voted the best player in the land while Tsipa has grabbed second golden boot in 12 years.
The panellists also voted for Young Player of the Year who would be unveiled, together with the Soccer Star and Goalkeeper of the Year at a banquet in the capital on Friday. The coach of the Year was also chosen and the battle was between the championship winning Lloyd Chitembwe and Chibuku Super Cup winner Tonderayi Ndiraya.
Highlanders’ Prince Dube and Ngezi Platinum’s Nelson Chadya are favourites to land the Young Player of the Year crown.
Dynamos’ Masimba Mambare and Bulawayo City technical advisor Barry Daka were barred from voting as they had come as proxy voters, the former standing in for his club’s captain Stephen Alimenda and the latter for acting coach Try Ncube who is attending a Caf B licence course in Bulawayo.
Only one player was ineligible for selection after receiving eight yellow cards and one red card, Dynamos’ Denver Mukamba
Meanwhile, all votes will be made public.