By Tadious Manyepo
WARRIORS and Kaizer Chiefs star, Khama Billiat, could probably have won the Soccer Star of the Year award had he stayed in the domestic Premiership for another season in 2010.
But, after his short loan spell at CAPS United from Aces Youth Soccer Academy, he was already on his way to South African top-flight side Ajax Cape Town.
His Warriors counterpart, Knowledge Musona, also didn’t get a chance to win the same award.
After all, he never played in the domestic top-flight league.
This accolade, won a record five times by Dynamos legend, George “Mastermind” Shaya has, in a way, lost some of glitter.
“The best players are quickly picked and go to play outside the country,’’ said Moses Chunga.
Those players, who would have shown potential are sure to go and play outside the country.
“This is one of the reasons why this prize, which used to be glamorous, has lost its lustre.”
Chunga said during his days, it was difficult to win the accolade as all the best players were still playing in Zimbabwe.
Veteran commentator, Charles “CNN” Mabika, said it was not easy to pick the best as many players were very good.
Today, panellists, including selected journalists, team captains and club coaches will be scratching their heads to pick the 11 outstanding players.
They will also select the best player.
The selectors have a tough job on their hands.
CAPS United midfielder, Joel Ngodzo, could find his name on every voter’s list for the second straight year after a good season.
Although his season ended prematurely because of injury, Method Mwanjali was impressive at the heart of the leaders’ defence and could make it into the top 11.
Speedster Phineas Bamusi has also enjoyed a good campaign.
Though Highlanders striker, Prince Dube, had a subdued first half of the season, he has been the mainstay for the Bulawayo giants’ strong run in the second stanza of this term.
His teammate Ariel Sibanda has kept 16 clean sheets making him a strong contender for the Goalkeeper of the Year and even the Soccer Star of the Year award.
Two players have been outstanding for FC Platinum — Never Tigere and midfielder Kelvin Madzongwe.
Chicken Inn are all but out of contention for the league honours but Tichaona Chipunza and Xolani Ncube have had good seasons.
Juan Mutudza of Herentals and Ishmael Wadi have also impressed.
ZPC Kariba’s Ian Nekati, Wellington Taderera of Black Rhinos, Triangle’s Ralph Kawondera, Frank Makarati of Ngezi Platinum, Denver Mukamba (Chapungu), King Nadolo (TelOne), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Evans Katema (Dynamos) and Clive Augusto (ex-Chicken Inn) will all be fancying their chances.
Several rookies have done well this season but TelOne goalkeeper Raphael Pitisi has proved to be a cut above the rest.
Dynamos’ Emmanuel Jalai and Highlanders’ Andrew Mbeba are real challengers to that claim.
It will be interesting to see who the panellists go for as the Coach of the Year. The Herald