Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
PINT-SIZED Bulawayo Chiefs attacking midfielder Arthur Musiyiwa was yesterday crowned the Zifa Southern Region Soccer Star of the Year at an awards ceremony held at Liquor Hub Wholesale.
Nicknamed Diego, Musiyiwa shrugged off competition from first runner-up Brandon Mpofu of Indlovu Iyanyathela and his Chiefs teammate Takunda Mazuva to walk away with $300 and a shield.
Musiyiwa was a vital cog in Chiefs’ unbeaten run, chipping in with handy goals that carried his team to the topflight league.
He was the league’s second top scorer with nine goals, one behind Morgan Mungombe of Makomo, who took home $200 for his 10 goals.
An ecstatic Musiyiwa dedicated his award to his teammates.
“Without my teammates I wouldn’t have won the Soccer Star of the Year award. We played as a team and they pushed me to work hard. I’m humbled by the faith and appreciation shown to me by the selectors. Last year I was part of the 11 Soccer Stars of the Year finalists and I never thought I was going to get this award this season. I will continue working hard and hopefully carry the same momentum to the PSL,” said Musiyiwa.
Despite having had a good season for Chiefs, Fortune Nkomazana, who took the top crown in 2016, failed to make it into the 2017 finalists.
Runner-up Mpofu got $200, while Mazuva pocketed $150.
The other eight finalists are goalkeeper Kelvin Nyoni, the midfield duo of Makhosi Ncube and Perfect Chikwende (all Bulawayo Chiefs), Mungombe, Mosi Rovers’ Ndaba Ndlovu, the ZPC Hwange pair of Israel Mukahanana and David Buzabani as well as Bosso 90’s Mandla Mnkandla, who each received $50.
Mungombe got an extra $200 for being the league’s Top Goal Scorer.
The Coach of the Year award and $200 prize money went to Chiefs’ Thulani Sibanda, whose team made a clean sweep by winning all silverware.
Chiefs won the league title, the Trukumb Mining Enterprises-bankrolled Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Eight-team Invitational Cup and the Liquor Hub- sponsored John Landa Nkomo Top Four tournament.