Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum’s midfielder Brian Banda did not sleep well last night, wondering how he was not selected among the best 11 soccer stars of the year.
Three of his teammates, goalkeeper Wallace Magalane, who kept 16 clean sheets in 20 games, central defender Gift Bello and Walter Musona with 14 goals, were voted among the best.
Banda (27), a grafter who put in consistent performances throughout the season as the champions went on to clinch their fourth consecutive league title, had been tipped to be among the best 11.
But despite his brilliance that saw him playing like a man possessed as he bossed the midfield, won most duels, came up with interceptions, dropped back into defensive mode and was quick to launch attacks with some exquisite passes, Banda was still overlooked.
Not taking anything away from his teammates, Banda will feel hard done after a season where he had the best of his career.
Bulawayo Chiefs’ 22-year-old playmaker Mthokozisi Msebe is in the same boat as Banda after he had a terrific debut Premiership season, putting up consistent performances for the Ninjas. Msebe, who joined Chiefs from Bantu Leopards, was the heartbeat of Chiefs, his heat map was impressive.
Maybe just like Banda, lack of charisma could have cost them a couple of votes which would have seen them on the podium.
Dynamos’ goalie Tymon Mvula was also overlooked for the stars calendar. Mvula and his teammate, Frank Makarati, who made the final 11, were consistent performers for the Harare giants.
Herentals’ Prince Chama missed out on the calendar with selectors opting for Tinotenda Benza who had four goals and 11 assists.
There was no place for Highlanders’ top scorer Lynoth Chikuhwa who finished the season with 10 goals as well as Chicken Inn’s duo of goalkeeper Donovan Bernard and midfielder Bret Amidu.
Veteran Triangle United captain Donald Ngoma and Ngezi Platinum Stars captain Polite Moyo also missed out.
Besides the quintet of Magalane, Musona, Bello, Benza and Makarati, the Castle Lager Soccer Stars are the Ngezi duo of goalkeeper Nelson Chadya and striker Delic Murimba. Golden boot winner, William
Manondo who banged 17 goals for Caps United made it into the list.
Highlanders’ playmaker Devine Mhindirira, Chicken Inn’s top goal scorer with 11 goals on his debut Premiership season, Brian Muza and Black Rhinos’ forward Eli Kiyana Ilunga complete the list.
Article Source: The Chronicle