Southern Region Soccer Stars to be honoured
SOUTHERN Region Division One’s outstanding players are set to be honoured next week with Hwange and Tsholotsho set to dominate the list after battling for the championship with the former emerging victors.
The Liquor Hub Wholesale Centresponsored Zifa Southern Region Soccer Stars 2018 will be announced on 16 December at a ceremony scheduled for the premises of the beer and grocery outlet.
Zifa Southern Region executive committee member, Mehluli Thebe said they are ready to reward their outstanding players this season, a year in which Hwange held on for victory to make a return to the Premiership after being relegated last year. Thebe said they will honour the top 11 players, Top Goal Scorer and Coach of the Year.
“The Soccer Star of the Year will walk away with $300, first runner-up will get $200 and second runner-up will take home $150 with the rest of the players walking away with $50 each. The Top Goal Scorer and Coach of the Year will each receive $200,” he said.
Hwange’s veteran striker, Gilbert Zulu has already earned himself $200 after landing the golden boot as he netted 21 goals, leading the coal miners’ attack that propelled them back to the top tier. Zulu is expected to lead in the fight for the top honours after an outstanding performance with other players likely to grace the calendar being Hwange’s Ernest Gwitima and Canaan Nkomo, Talen Vision’s Gray Kufandada, Mandlenkosi Gasela, Njabulo Ngwenya while from ZPC Hwange John Chinyerere is likely to make the cut.
Tsholotsho players Mcebisi Moyo and Michael Bhebhe are also in contention for a place in the top 11 together with Moto Moto’s Tatenda Ushe and Highlanders midfielder, Denzel Khumalo, who had a sterling first half performance at Bosso’s Division One outfit before being elevated to the senior team at the halfway mark.
Liquor Hub’s representative, Stanford Mazura said they are ready to honour the players as has been the case for the past two years. Liquor Hub is owned by Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister, Raj Modi, who has been at the forefront of supporting sports in the province.
Meanwhile, Mazura said athletes have already started registering for this year’s Liquor Hub Fun Run that will be held on the same day. The event incorporates the 10km race and the 5km walk to accommodate both professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
“We have already registered just over 100 entries for the two categories and we are looking forward to seeing more people register as the event date draws near. This year’s race is being sponsored to the tune of R50 000 with the winners in the senior men and women’s categories walking away with R5 000 each, second placed athletes will get R3 000 with the runners coming in third receiving R2 000 each,” he said.
The top three in the junior men and women will get R1 500, R1 000 and R500 respectively. The top two in both male and female wheel section will walk away with R2 000 and R1 500 respectively. Mazura revealed they have reverted back to the original route after changing it last year.
“This year we are moving back to the old route and we will start and finish at Liquor Hub premises in the city centre. Athletes in the 10km race will proceed south-east along 4th Avenue to Kumalo then make an about turn at the Hindu Community Centre in the same suburb back to Liquor Hub where the finishing point will be.
“Those in the 5km walk will start at Liquor Hub and then proceed to the Hockey Stadium and back,” he said.
Registration fees remain the same as last year ($5 for seniors, $3 for juniors and $2 for charity walk).
All proceeds from suppliers and registration fees plus groceries worth R10 000 will be donated to needy charities within the community.