2016 BEST OF BEST FC Plat­inum, Caps United dom­i­nate soc­cer stars

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo in Harare

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.

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