Ray Bande in HARARE
DANGAMVURA-born Triangle winger Phineus Bhamusi, who is linked with a move to Mutare’s Premiership debutants Manica Diamonds following expiry of his contract at the Sugar Estates, yesterday described his inclusion on the 2018 Soccer Stars of the Year finalists as a dream come true.
The former Mutare United and Buffaloes player was selected among the best 11 players who illuminated the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season.
Local soccer experts, among them selected sport journalists, top-flight club captains and club coaches converged in Harare to select the best 11 of 2018 as well as the coach and referee of the year.
They also selected the rookie of the year who illuminated the scene in the just-ended season.
The top flight league marathon concluded last Saturday.
“This is dream come true. I am happy to be part of that list. It is every football player’s dream to be part of that list. It is always an honour when people around you recognise your capabilities and achievements on the field of play,” said Bhamusi.
The diminutive, slippery and speedy winger said he had a set of targets for himself at the start of the season and worked hard to achieve them.
“I had my own targets before the start of the season and worked diligently to achieve those targets. I always reminded myself of the targets before each game. However, I would not have achieved all that without the help of my teammates, family and coaches. I really want to thank everyone who made this dream come true,” he said.
The former Hwange midfielder Rodwell Chinyengetere, who has been a torch bearer for champions FC Platinum, has already won the Golden Boot, having netted 17 times for the champions, is largely expected to be crowned the Soccer Star of the Year, again.
He has also weighed in with nine assists for Pure Platinum Play.
Chinyengetere is the current holder of the prestigious Soccer Star of the Year gong and could join an exclusive club of George Shaya and Peter Ndlovu, if he manages to win it for a successive time.
Centre-backs Kelvin Moyo and Edwin Madhanhanga were also part of the list of the 11 best players of the season.
Talismanic winger Bhamusi’s strike partner Lameck Nhamo, also made it to the calendar, having helped their team to a top four finish and the Chibuku Super Cup triumph.
Caps United’s Joel Ngodzo made a surprise inclusion on the list while Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda shrugged off competition from Donovan Bernard to be named among the best 11.
Chicken Inn’s Innocent Mucheneka is also part of the 2018 Soccer Stars of the Year finalists as well as ZPC Kariba’s David Temwanjira, Ngezi Platinum’s Godknows Murwira and Micheal Charamba.
Reigning Coach of the Year Norman Mapeza is the odds-on favourite to defend the accolade, having guarded his FC Platinum to the winners’ podium for the second year running.
He, however, faces stiff competition from Harare City’s Mark Harrison, Herentals gaffer Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva and Taurai Mangwiro, of Triangle FC.
Herentals’ 17-year-old striker Tinotenda Benza, who scored three goals and provided seven assists for the league debutants, is most likely to bag the Rookie of the Year award. He will, however, have to deal with stiff competition from Harare City’s Tatenda Tumba.
FC Platinum retained the Premiership title following an impressive run that saw them clinching the crown with two games to spare.
Nichrut, Bulawayo City, Mutare City and Shabanie all fell by the wayside.
The overall winner and his runners-up will be announced during a banquet to be held next weekend.