Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THREE years after the last Soccer Star of the Year Joel Ngodzo was crowned, a new king who will join the list of greatest players to be honoured in the country will be capped this evening in Harare.
The coronation of the 2021/22 Castle Soccer Star of the Year is special in the sense that it is the first in the post-Covid-19 period, as sporting activities were banned between 2020 and part of 2021 due to the global pandemic.
A panel of 86 made up of 50 journalists, 18 coaches and 18 captains voted for the country’s best 11. Four times in a row champions FC Platinum have the most number of players in the Castle Soccer Stars finalists, contributing three players into the top 11 where the top three will be chosen.
Footballers competing for the top three are FC Platinum’s trio of goalkeeper Wallace Magalane who kept 16 clean sheets in 20 matches having taken over reigns from injured Petros Mhari, defender Gift Bello who won his seventh PSL title and winger Walter Musona who scored 14 goals. Musona also weighed in with six assists. Ngezi Platinum Stars who finished the season in position four have two players, goalkeeper Nelson Chadya and striker Delic Murimba in the soccer stars finalists.
The league’s Golden boot winner, William Manondo who banged 17 goals for Caps United is on the list alongside Highlanders’ playmaker Devine Mhindirira, who had an excellent season.
Chicken Inn’s top goal scorer with 11 goals on his debut Premiership season Brian Muza, Black Rhinos’ forward Eli Kiyana Ilunga, former Young Warriors attacking midfielder Tinotenda Benza and Dynamos’ central defender Frank Makarati complete the list of the 2022 Castle Soccer Stars.
Manondo and Musona are the frontrunners for the top gong, with Mhindirira as well as Makarati also tipped to be in the top three.
Besides the crowning of the Soccer Star of the Year as well as awarding the Fans’ Choice Award, other accolades to be dished out on Friday night include the two Soccer star of the Year runners-up, the Coach of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Most Promising Under-19 Player of the Year and the Most Disciplined Team of the Year which is determined by the PSL based on a points system.
The Zifa Referees Committee will forward the name for the Referee of the Year winner as well as the two runners-up.
Meanwhile, for the first time in the history of Soccer Stars, sponsors Delta Beverages have introduced the Fans’ Choice Award voted by football enthusiasts.
The winner of the Fans’ Choice Award will be revealed at tonight’s gala. — @ZililoR
Article Source: The Chronicle