Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
GOALKEEPER Bernard Donovan walked away with the biggest prize at the Chicken Inn Football Club’s end of year awards held in the city on Wednesday evening.
The 27-year old Donovan, who kept 18 clean sheets and conceded 20 goals in the just ended 2021/22 season was named Player of the Year for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League runners up.
“I am very happy to have been recognised for this award. This is my first individual award and I am happy my coaches and those who voted recognised my efforts,” said Donovan.
Other winners on the day were leftback Xolani Ndlovu who was voted the Players’ Player of the Year. Ndlovu captained the Gamecocks in the second half of the season when club captain Moses Jackson did not see much of the action as he sat on the bench for most of the matches.
Brian Muza with 11 goals took home the Golden Boot accolade. The former FC Talen Vision forward was last week included in the 11 Soccer Stars of the Year.
Bret Amidu was presented with the Goal of the Season award while Richard Hachiro was named the Most Disciplined Player.
Right back Arthur Chinda was named the club’s best young player while Jackson received the chairman’s accolade award.
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas felt it was a deserved award for Donovan and also gave thoughts on the past season.
“I thought it was a competitive league though at the end of the day we had FC Platinum running away with the title. I thought the rest of us were competing well. I believe we did well to end up as runners up. We need to up our game.
“Remember the players had been out of the game for 18 months and that takes a toll on the players. I believe things can improve next season,” said Antipas.
In July, Donovan’s proposed move to South Africa’s Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) collapsed, amid revelations that the Motsepe Foundation Championship side changed goalposts on the player’s wages.
Sources close to the player alleged the Limpopo-based club reduced the package they had initially offered to the Zimbabwe Warriors goalkeeper and negotiations between the two parties hit a brick wall, which saw the player return to Chicken Inn.
Wednesday’s awards ceremony saw Chicken Inn also presented with their silver medals after they finished as the first runners up in the 2021/22 season.
Bulawayo mayor, Solomon Mguni attended the awards ceremony. – @innocentskizoe