By Godknows Matarutse
FC Platinum forward Rodwell Chinyengetere stands on the brink of a rare feat of being crowned the Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year for a second year running when the winner is announced in Harare tonight.
Chinyengetere’s work up-front, which saw him finish the season as the Castle Lager Premiership top goal scorer with 17 goals, makes him the odds-on favourite for the top gong.
The Soccer Stars selection was done last month by a panel of football writers, club coaches and captains, who met in the capital to pick XI players, who make up the finalists of this year’s award.
Chinyengetere’s performances for the platinum miners even saw him attracting the attention of South Africa’s Absa Premiership side Baroka FC.
The Limpopo-based side wasted no time in securing the forward’s signature, who will join his new teammates in January.
If Chinyengetere wins the top gong tonight, he will join an exclusive club of a few men that have won the award twice or more.
Since 1969 when the awards were incepted, former Dynamos forward George Shaya won it five times in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, and 1977.
The late Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma won the award in 1981 and in 1985 while the mercurial Peter Ndlovu achieved the same feat in 1990 and in 1991.
Tonight, Chinyengetere’s main competition will come from former Triangle United forward Lameck Nhamo, who finished the season with 15 goals.
Nhamo completed his switch to FC Platinum this week and will likely be among the top three at tonight’s awards.
Also in the reckoning is Chinyengetere’s teammate Kelvin Moyo, who had an outstanding season at the heart of the platinum miners’ defence.
Moyo was the first runner-up behind Chinyengetere last season. Delta Beverages, who are official sponsors of the Premiership, are also bankrolling tonight’s awards where the winner is guaranteed to pocket $5 000.
His two runners-up will get $3 000 and $2 000 respectively while the rest of the finalists take home $1 000 each.
The Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and the Referee of the Year will also be honoured at the same event.
It appears a three-horse race between FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza, Harare City’s Mark Harrison and Triangle’s Taurai Mangwiro for coach of the year award. DailyNews