Mukamba takes the crown

HARARE - Dynamos midfield ace Denver Mukamba scooped the biggest individual prize in Zimbabwean football after being crowned the 2012 Soccer Star of the Year at a colourful ceremony in the capital last night.

Mukamba took over the reins from former teammate Washington Arubi, who now plies his trade in South Africa’s Absa Premiership with Pretoria University.

 The 20-year-old livewire overcame last year’s disappointment of failing to garner enough votes when he missed out on the 11 finalists before settling for the Rookie of the Year accolade.

It was a special night for Mukamba to cap a special year.

Only two weeks ago, the Highfield-bred magician was named Dynamos’ Player of the Year, the first of two thoroughly deserved accolades for a player who dominated the season with one splendid performance after another and was the leading light in the Glamour Boys’ successful defence on their league and cup double.

The way Mukamba defied his asthmatic conditions to Dynamos’ bid in retaining the league and cup double won him many admirers and was a firm choice for the Soccer Stars award.

The lanky midfielder, who is reportedly on the verge of sealing a move to South Africa’s Bidvest Wits after impressing during a trial stint, beat Highlanders star Masimba Mambare into second place while Monomotapa’s talismanic midfielder Ronald Chitiyo settled for third place.

Mambare, who moved to Bulawayo giants at the beginning of the season from Motor Action, has been instrumental in Bosso’ revival which saw them competing for the championship until the last day of the campaign but unfortunately he finished the season empty-handed.

For winning the top accolade, Mukamba walked away with a trophy and a cheque of $5 000 while the first and second runners up pocketed $3 000 and $2 000 respectively.

The other eight finalists got $1 000 each.

Mukamba’s coach Calisto Pasuwa was crowned Coach of the Year after a fruitful year in which he guided the Glamour Boys to a successive league and cup double.

Pasuwa saw the award go to Hwange’s Tenant Chiluba last year after his critics refused to fully attribute the achievement to him, arguing the platform had been laid for him by his predecessor Lloyd Mutasa.

But as they say, you can’t keep a good man down forever, and Pasuwa last night had his date with destiny.

Pasuwa beat Highlanders’

Kelvin Kaindu, who was also a firm favourite for the top accolade after having an exceptional campaign with Bosso that included new record 23-match unbeaten run.

But after losing out on the title and crashing out of the Mbada Diamonds Cup at the quarterfinals stage, Kaindu always had his work cut out for him.

Shabanie Mine’s Nelson Maziwisa pocketed $3 000 for finishing on top of the scoring charts with 18 goals.

 Highlanders’ Ariel Sibanda was voted best Goalkeeper of the Year. Dynamos stopper George Chigova conceded the least number of goals, but he only played 15 games after taking over the gloves from Washington Arubi mid-season.

The Rookie of the Year award went to Chicken inn’s Zimbabwe youth international Kudakwashe Mahachi, who acquitted himself well in his first year at the Bulawayo club.

 Monomotapa were named with the Most Disciplined award while referee Ruzive Ruzive was named the best middle man.

As has been the case in recent seasons, questions have been asked about the inclusion of some players on the final list of XI and the exclusion of others who made a big impact.

 “Congratulations to all the players, coaches and referees who were voted, amongst the best in the 2012 football season. To all the Soccer Stars of the Year l say be good ambassadors of the game,” said PSL chairperson Twine Phiri.

 “I would like to thank our sponsors Delta Beverages for allowing us to use the Castle brand.  Their interest in our football has had a magnetic effect.” - Godknows Matarutse


Soccer Star of the Year:
Denver Mukamba (Dynamos)

First runner-up:
Masimba Mambare (Highlanders)

Second runner-up:
Ronald Chitiyo (Monomotapa)

Innocent Mapuranga, Mthulisi Maphosa (both Highlanders), Felix Chindungwe, Kudakwashe Mahachi (both Chicken Inn), Partson Jaure (Dynamos), Rodwell Chinyengetere (Hwange), Nelson Maziwisa (Shabanie Mine).

Coach of the Year:  
Calisto Pasuwa (Dynamos)

Top Goal Scorer of the Year:
Nelson Maziwisa (Shabanie Mine)

Goalkeeper of the Year:
Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)

Rookie of the Year:
Kudakwashe Mahachi (Chicken Inn)

Most Disciplined Team:

Referee of the Year:
Ruzive Ruzive

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