Soccer Stars selected

HARARE - Castle Lager Premiership side Ngezi Platinum Stars dominate this year’s Soccer Stars of the Year list after providing three finalists during a selection meeting held in the capital yesterday.

A panel made up of football journalists, coaches and team captains voted in the selection process that saw Ngezi Platinum’s trio of Tichaona Mabvura, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Qadr Amini make it among the 11 best players in the just-ended domestic season.

However, for the first time in the history of the Soccer Stars selection there was no goalkeeper, who made it on the calendar.

FC Platinum, who won their maiden PSL title since promotion in 2011, provided two players in defender Kelvin Moyo and forward Rodwell Chinyengetere.

Dynamos, who finished in second place just two points behind FC Platinum, saw their pair of forward Christian Ntouba and captain Ocean Mushure making the cut.

The evergreen Chicken Inn midfielder Clement Matawu made history by becoming only the third player in the PSL’s history to be on the soccer stars calendar on six occasions.

The other two players to have achieved a similar feat are the legendary former Dynamos duo of George Shaya and Sunday Chidzambwa.

Matawu’s teammate Moses Jackson also made it on the calendar and was also joined by CAPS United’s pair of Dominic Chungwa and Devon Chafa.

Only two players Donald Mudadi of Black Rhinos and Milton Ncube of How Mine were ruled out of yesterday’s selection after picking up more than 10 yellow cards.

The Soccer Star of the Year will be announced at a banquet on December 8 and his identity will be kept a secret until then.

The same applies to the Coach of the Year, the Goalkeeper of the Year, the Rookie of the Year as well as the Referee of the Year.

Apart from the omission of a goalkeeper on the best 11, most coaches lauded those that were selected saying they were all deserving to be on the calendar.  

“I was surprised that there was no goalkeeper in the 11. I don’t think it was really proper not to have a goalkeeper there. It’s a bit strange,” FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said.

“I was happy with the players that were picked particularly from FC Platinum although I felt Winston (Mhango) also did well and deserved to be among the best. But the voice has spoken and we just have to accept it.

“I think the majority of those guys on the calendar did well. I don’t have any complaints.

“Ngezi have three guys whom I think did well same applies to the guys from Chicken Inn, Dynamos and other clubs.”

CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe said: “I am very happy, happy for Devon and happy for Dominic. We are talking of two players who were written off in some sections of football but yeah, I think they deserve to be part of the elite, they did very well during the course of the season.

“I think those that have been selected are a deserving group of players. I think all the players were selected on merit and had a great season and they deserve to be there.”

Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya said: “I think it’s a welcome development for the team considering how we played throughout the season until we lost the championship to FC Platinum right at the end.

“I am glad that the three players deserved to be on the calendar. We were one of the top scorers in the league and most of those goals came from the three.”
 
2017 Soccer Stars: Christian Ntouba, Clement Matawu, Devon Chafa, Dominic Chungwa, Kelvin Moyo, Moses Jackson, Ocean Mushure, Qadr Amini, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Terence Dzvukamanja, Tichaona Mabvura

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