Fans tip Tsipa for the big one

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo,

CAPS United striker Leonard Tsipa is the fans’ favourite to land the cov­eted Cas­tle Lager Soc­cer Star of the Year award.

In a snap sur­vey con­ducted in Bu­l­awayo’s cen­tral busi­ness district yes­ter­day, the Caps United gun­man, whose 11 Premier­ship goals pro­pelled the Harare gi­ants to the Premier­ship ti­tle, emerged favourite to win the award at tonight’s cer­e­mony to be held in Harare.

The 11 Soc­cer Star of the Year fi­nal­ists are Tsipa, his team­mates Ron­ald Pfumbidzai and Hardlife Zvirekwi, FC Plat­inum’s trio of Win­ton Mhango, Pet­ros Mhari and Wis­dom Mu­tasa, High­landers’ Peter Muduhwa, last year’s fi­nal­ist Cle­mence Matawu of Chicken Inn, Hwange’s Gift Mb­weti, Lib­ert Chako­roma from Ngezi Plat­inum and Dy­namos’ God­knows Mur­wira.

Par­don Marova, a Dy­namos sup­porter said cham­pi­ons Caps United will have two play­ers in the top three, with Tsipa be­ing the Soc­cer Star of the Year.

“To be hon­est Tsipa re­ally had an in­flu­ence at Caps United and his 11 goals were cru­cial in his team’s cham­pi­onship run. If you look at it, op­po­nents planned their game plan around Tsipa and he was never over­whelmed as he used his ex­pe­ri­ence to give op­po­si­tion de­fend­ers hard times. If he wasn’t scor­ing, he was draw­ing de­fend­ers out of po­si­tions, thereby open­ing a cor­ri­dor which his team­mates ex­ploited. For that rea­son, Tsipa will be my first choice with ei­ther Zvirekwi or Pfumbidzai be­ing in the top three,” Marova said.

Nyasha Chi­weshe heaped praises on Tsipa who he said showed young­sters that there is no sub­sti­tute for qual­ity.

“Ob­vi­ously peo­ple wanted to see lots of goals but I think for an old player like Tsipa (34) to score more goals than younger play­ers makes him ex­cep­tional in this league. His con­tri­bu­tion at Caps United saw them end an 11-year cham­pi­onship drought and he was ex­em­plary through­out the sea­son not­with­stand­ing that in­ci­dent when he re­acted to Peter Muduhwa’s chal­lenge at Bar­bour­fields which earned him a red card,” said Chi­weshe. Blessed Gumbo said the race for the top gong is be­tween Tsipa and Zvirekwi. “Tsipa scored goals which mat­tered but Zvirekwi as team cap­tain was in­spi­ra­tional. It will be a tight con­test be­tween the two,” Gumbo said. Du­maza Dube said Tsipa is the best player avail­able in the lo­cal league. “In terms of form he was con­sis­tent be­sides scor­ing few goals com­pared to yes­ter­year strik­ers. De­spite his age, the young boys failed to rise to the oc­ca­sion. Would’ve loved to see Prince Dube shine but the young­ster fiz­zled out when Bruce Kangwa and Knox Mu­tizwa left. He needed what is called cog­ni­tive ap­pren­tice­ship (sim­ply put, learn­ing from those who know) but Ralph Matema didn’t pro­vide that,” said Dube.

Than­deka Moyo said her top three are Win­ston Mhango, Peter Muduhwa and Hardlife Zvirekwi.

“FC Plat­inum failed to click in games where Mhango was ab­sent and Muduhwa was solid for High­landers in de­fence while Zvirekwi also played a big part at Caps United.”

Ash­ton Mh­langa said: “What peo­ple should be ques­tion­ing is, are we de­vel­op­ing play­ers as a coun­try be­cause it re­ally doesn’t make sense to see old horses like Tsipa com­ing from the dol­drums to dom­i­nate the lo­cal scene. You also have Matawu over­shad­ow­ing young­sters. I was happy to see some­one like Peter (Muduhwa) mak­ing his de­but sea­son count. Even though I thought ei­ther Bruce Kangwa or Rah­man Kut­sanzira de­served to be in the fi­nal 11, Tsipa re­mains the best on the list.” Vusa Sibanda be­moaned lack of con­sis­tency. “The present crop lacks fore­sight and they’re eas­ily dis­tracted with those off the field in­ci­dents af­fect­ing their play. The best tal­ent is not be­ing recog­nised mainly be­cause they’re not rep­re­sented by the big shots, that is they don’t play for big clubs like High­landers, Dy­namos and Caps United. There are play­ers like MacClive Phiri of Tsholot­sho FC and James Ngu­luve of Ngezi Plat­inum who in my view had a great sea­son. Maybe se­lec­tors saw some­thing dif­fer­ent and from those that they se­lected I think Tsipa, Muduhwa and Mhango should be in the top three.”

— @ZililoR

Leonard Tsipa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.