FC PLATINUM’S dominance on the local football landscape continued after the club’s star player Walter Musona and coach Norman Mapeza scooped the Soccer Star of the Year and Coach of the Year awards, respectively, at a ceremony in Harare last night.
Musona, whose 14 goals and six assists propelled the Zvishavane-based club to their fourth consecutive league championship, beat competition from Caps United’s William Manondo, who picked the first runner-up accolade and Dynamos’ Frank Makarati, who came third.
In a season that was hard to pick standout performers, Musona’s contribution to the team’s success was enough for him to get the top gong.
The three were picked from the 11 finalists chosen last month.
The 26-year-old Musona returned from an unsuccessful stint in South Africa, but managed to reinvent himself and led the team to glory.
It was his first league championship.
He had a slow start to the season, but once he got into the groove, he proved an inspirational figure as the Zvishavane side closed an 11-point gap on their league challengers Dynamos to eventually win the title with three games to spare.
Of his 14 goals, half of them were decisive in winning his side matches.
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Manondo didn’t walk empty-handed as he picked his Golden Boot award after scoring 17 goals last season and had 12 assists in a season his Caps United side struggled financially throughout, and their performance on the field showed.
The Green Machine had the striker’s goals to thank in their fight against relegation as the former Harare City man scored exactly half of his club’s total goals.
Most neutrals had thought his exploits under those very difficult conditions would sway the votes in his favour.
However, it was Musona who walked away with the biggest player accolade in the land, which has a US$5 000 cash prize.
Manondo got US$3 000, while Makarati received US$2 500.
Makarati was rewarded for his contribution to Dynamos’ charge to the league title where they eventually finished third.
The Fans’ Player Of The Season, which was voted in by the supporters, went to Herentals’ Tino Benza, who also picked the Chibuku Super Cup Golden Boot award.
Musona succeeded Joel “Josta” Ngodzo, who won it in 2019 when it was last held.
The 2020 domestic football league failed to kick off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other winners from the night were Nelson Chadya of Ngezi Platinum Stars, who got the Goalkeeper of the Year award.
His club also received the Most Disciplined Team of the Year award.
Young Jayden Barake of relegated WhaWha received the Most Promising Player of the Year.
The award finalists were voted for by a panel of 50 journalists, 18 Premier Soccer League coaches and their club captains.
The Referee of the Year award went to Martin Chivandire, with Faith Mloyi coming as the first runner-up.
Soccer Star of the Year: Walter Musona
First runner-up: William Manondo
Second runner-up: Frank Makarati
Fan’s Player of the Year: Tino Benza
Coach of the Year: Norman Mapeza
Golden Boot winner: William Manondo
Referee of the Year: Martin Chivandire
First runner-up: Faith Mloyi
Most Promising Young Player: Jayden Barake
Goalkeeper of the Year: Nelson Chadya
The 2021/2022 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Soccer Star of the Year finalists
Brian Muza, Delic Murimba, Devine Mhindirira, Elie Ilunga, Frank Makarati, Gift Bello, Nelson Chadya, Tinotenda Benza, Wallace Magalane, Walter Musona, William Manondo