Not hard for Hardlife

HARARE - Fuulback back Hardlife Zvirekwi rounded off a perfect 2016 after he was last night named as the CAPS United Player of the Year for the just-ended season.

It has been a memorable season for Zvirekwi, who was also recently crowned the 2016 Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year after starring to help United to their first league title in 11 years.

At yesterday’s award ceremony, Zvirekwi beat off stiff competition from teammates Leonard Tsipa and Ronald Pfumbidzai to pick up the top gong which came with a cheque for $2 000.

Winger Phineas Bhamusi walked away with the Players’ Player of the Year award after another impressive season for the Green Machine. The award carried a cash prize of $1 500.

Bhamusi was recognised by his teammates for the stellar contributions down the wing throughout the season.

After missing out on the top prize for the night, Tsipa did not go home empty-handed as he was guaranteed to walk away with the Golden Boot after netting 11 goals in the league which carried $1 000.

The icing on the cake for the veteran forward came when he was also named as the club’s Most Loyal Player to earn a further $600.

Pfumbidzai also went home with an award after he was voted the Supporters’ Player of the Year to go home with $1 000.

Forward Amon Kambanje was named the Rookie of the Year after impressing all the time he was given a chance to get onto the field by coach Lloyd Chitembwe. The award came with $600.

Midfielder Kudzanai Nyamupfukudza was named as the Most Improved Player, an award which carried a $600 prize.

The Most Disciplined Player accolade which carried a prize of $600 went to defender Carlton Munzabwa.

Chitembwe, who became the first person to win the league both as a player and a coach with Makepekepe, was handed the Coach’s Award that came with $1 000.

United fan Augustine Kaswaurere, who is always present at all the club’s home matches, was handed the President’s Award which carried a prize of $500.

Speaking at last night’s ceremony, Makepekepe president Farai Jere insisted his club would strive for more league titles in the future.

“To the supporters, please keep supporting us and we will not let you down because we aren’t satisfied with just being champions for one year but we want to be champions for a number of years to come,” he said.

The 2016 title was United fifth of all time and it came after an 11-year wait while their city rivals Dynamos had dominated the domestic game.

Jere said there is nothing that can substitute the feeling of winning a league title.

“Twenty years ago, a talented group of players under the shrewd guidance of coach Steve Kwashi, ended 17 years of pain and frustration, for CAPS United when they won the league championship in spectacular fashion,” he said.

“It was our club’s first championship title after independence, a landmark triumph that ushered back the spirit of success, when it comes to the very football title that matters most, to the beloved club.

“Of course, throughout the 80s and in the first half of the 90s we had won a number of knockout tournaments, leading us to be nicknamed Cup Kings, but even in that era of success , there was the sinking feeling that something was was missing.

“For all the achievements in cup tournaments, we were failing to transform ourselves into champions and with our biggest rivals having long dominated that landscape as serial champions, there was that sadness, among our fans and players, that were falling short in the competition that matters most.”

Makepekepe will be playing in the African Champions League next season and will be hoping to reach the group stages of the competition.

“We are now representing the country in the Caf Champions League next year and we need to fly our national flag with pride and we can assure you we will not let you down,” Jere said.

“To the corporate partners who are here, we are reaching out to you because we need your company so that we fulfil our potential and we don’t let down your country.”   

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.