It's King Zvirekwi!

HARARE - CAPS United right back Hardlife Zvirekwi capped a fine season when he was crowned the toast of local football after being named as the 2016 Soccer Star of the Year at a colourful ceremony held in the capital last night.

Zvirekwi has been a revelation for Makepekepe on the right side with consistent performances in United’s push for the title, which also saw him command a regular first team jersey in the Warriors’ successful Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification campaign.

The Warriors right back took over the reins from former Chicken Inn midfielder Danny Phiri, who now plies his trade with South Africa’s Absa Premiership side Golden Arrows.

Zvirekwi beat his team-mate Leonard Tsipa into second place while FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari settled for third place.

For Tsipa, who ended the season as the league’s top goal scorer with 11 goals, being first runner-up was a fitting achievement for a 34-year-old as he powered the Green Machine to a league title ending over a decade without winning the championship.

The way Tsipa defied his age in Makepekepe’s bid to end title drought won him many admirers and was a firm choice for the Soccer Stars award.

Lloyd Chitembwe was crowned Coach of the Year following a fruitful year which yielded the championship in a mixed season which saw him overcome critics from a section of the club’s fans who had no faith him.

But as the saying goes that you can’t keep a good man forever, Chitembwe last night had his date with destiny. Chitembwe overcame the challenge of FC Platinum’s Norman Mapeza who was a firm favourite for the accolade after surrendering the title on the last day of the season.

But after losing out on the title and failed to beat Ngezi Platinum in the Chibuku Super Cup, it was always going to be difficult for Mapeza.

FC Platinum’s Petros Mhari was voted the Goalkeeper of the season with the Rookie of the Year going to Highlanders’ Prince Dube.
Soccer Star of the Year: Hardlife Zvirekwei
First runner-up: Leonard Tsipa
Second runner-up: Petros Mhari
Coach of the Year: Lloyd Chitembwe  
Top Goal Scorer of the Year: Leonard Tsipa
Goalkeeper of the Year: Petros Mhari
Rookie of the Year: Prince Dube
Most Disciplined Team: How Mine
Referee of the Year: Ruzive Ruzive

Finalists: Leonard Tsipa, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Ronald Pfumbidzayi (CAPS United), Gift Mbweti (Hwange), Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Godknows Murwira (Dynamos), Petros Mhari, Winston Mhango, Walter Musona (FC Platinum), Clement Matawu (Chicken Inn), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum).   

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