Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Highlanders skipper and 2002 Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year Dazzy Kapenya has bemoaned the deteriorating standards of strikers in the country and called on league sponsors to put a minimum number of goals per season for one to be eligible for the Golden Boot prize.
The legendary Amahlolanyama defender and former Warriors player who featured in the 2004 African Nations Cup finals under another Zimbabwean football legend Sunday Chidzambwa, believes a bait from the sponsors would help psyche up strikers to be ever eager for goals, unlike what is happening now where players know that any number of goals on top will assure him of a fat cheque.
Kapenya’s call comes amid a shocking reality that this year’s Golden Boot winner is likely to have scored the lowest ever number of goals in the history of the Premier Soccer League if not since Independence in topflight football unless something dramatic happens today and tomorrow during the last games of the 2016 season.
Ageless Caps United hitman Leonard Tsipa, who took the gong exactly 12 years ago with 18 goals, is leading the pack having scored 11 goals this season.
Hwange’s Gift Mbweti, ironically 12 years younger than Tsipa, is on nine and still very much in the running to win this year’s Golden Boot award.
“It’s embarrassing as a country that with only a game before the season ends, our leading scorer is on 11 goals and in the running for a fat cheque.
This is a mockery to football. I know some people would want to argue and say it’s a big plus to defenders but to me that is not the reason. Our strikers need to pull up their socks and justify why they call themselves strikers,” said Kapenya.
“I therefore feel the top goalscorer prize must not just be given because someone scored more goals than others. We will be celebrating mediocrity just like a parent celebrating that his child came first in the class but having failed all the subjects.
“We need to have a minimum number of goals for one to qualify for the Golden Boot and then that way we will celebrate quality but for now it’s late to enforce that since the season is already over, maybe next year,” said Kapenya.
Chipo Tsodzo remains the all-time leading PSL top goalscorer since 1996 after hitting in 27 goals while turning out for Masvingo United under Luke Masomere in 2001.
He is followed by Chewe Mulenga and Norman Maroto who scored 24 goals for Railstars and Dynamos respectively in the 1999/00 and 2002 seasons.
“Something is just not right. Look at Bruce Kangwa, he is on seven goals and among the leading pack yet he never played a single match in the second half of the season,” said Kapenya.
It is believed that the fear of losing is now more than the desire to win in most Zimbabwean coaches and players hence the rather defensive approach to the game.
Former Chicken Inn striker Tendai Ndoro who took the Golden Boot prize in 2013 with 18 goals is the leading striker in the Absa Premiership with nine league goals out of nine games for Orlando Pirates.
Golden Boot winners since 1996
Club Goals Year
Alois Bunjira Caps Utd 23 1996
Chewe Mulenga Railstars 24 1999-00
Zenzo Moyo Highlanders 21 2000
Chipo Tsodzo Masvingo 27 2001
Gift Kamuriwo Black Rhinos 15 2002
Sageby Sandaka AmaZulu 17 2003
Leonard Tsipa Caps Utd 18 2004
Edmore Mufema Motor Action 17 2005
Ralph Matema Highlanders 19 2006
Cuthbert Malajila Chapungu 15 2007
Evans Chikwaikwai Sundowns 23 2008
Nyasha Mushekwi Caps Utd 21 2009
Norman Maroto Gunners 22 2010
Rodrick Mutuma Dynamos 14 2011
Nelson Mazivisa Shabanie Mine 18 2012
Tendai Ndoro Chicken Inn 18 2013
Charles Sibanda/Kuda Musharu Highlanders/How Mine 12 2014
Knox Mutizwa Highlanders 14 2015