Mukudzei Chingwere/Tedious Manyepo, Harare Bureau
A CAREER that promised so much is finally being rewarded towards its tail end after 2018 top goal scorer Rodwell Chinyengetere retained or the second year running won the Soccer Star of the year award, joining the exclusive club of legendary stalwarts Peter Ndlovu and George Shaya for the towering recognition.
The 30-year-old showed a lot of promise in the early stages of his career before the very career which was tipped for the stars was halted by an injury which almost ended it.
The former Hwange forward has returned to his bewitching best at FC Platinum, last year he helped Pure Platinum Play win the league’s ultimate price for the first time in their history and capped off a brilliant campaign on an individual basis by being voted the best player in the previous campaign.
The Zimbabwe international for the second successive year followed up on his brilliance helping his paymasters to another league success after outscoring everyone in the division.
Last night at the 2018 Soccer Stars of the Year banquet held in the capital, he joined the inimitable league of Shaya and Ndlovu by being named as the best player in the Zimbabwean premier league on two different occasions.
His exploits have not gone unnoticed and he has now joined pastures new at South African premiership side Baroka where he is expected to start training with them at the start of next year.
After receiving his award Chinyengetere said he was nowhere near the calibre of Ndlovu and Shaya but was humbled on emulating them.
“I am over the moon, it is a dream come true (and) I would like to thank God for the grace he continues to give me.
“It is an extraordinary feeling. I am nowhere near the legendary Peter Ndlovu and George Shaya and am therefore humbled to have joined that club of legends who have won the soccer star accolade two times,” he continued.
“I want to thank everyone who supported me this year and throughout my career. It would not have been possible for me to be here without the support of my coach Norman Mapeza and my teammates.
“Football is a team game and one cannot become successful on the field of play without his teammates being good players I salute them and not forgetting my family for their unwavering support,” he continued.
The Warriors international thanked God for his miraculous return to football after a horrific injury which threatened the very existence of his professional playing career.
“I do not think I would be here today after suffering that injury, but I would like to believe that God had planned it that way I can only say that the power of the Lord is being witnessed.
“I would like to thank FC Platinum for giving me the platform to relaunch my career,”said Chinyengetere.
After a brilliant season with Harare City, Young Warriors star Tatenda Tumba who is away on national duty with the U20 was named the young player of the year.
Talented former Triangle United forward, Lameck Nhamo, finished the season as the second top goalscorer was voted number two behind his new teammate at FC Platinum, Chinyengetere.
Nhamo has since joined FC Platinum and teamed up with Chinyengetere they will be trusted outlets for goals to lead the miners to the group stages of the African Safari.
For the second year running Warriors central defender, Kevin Moyo, was voted amongst the top three as the second runner up failing to surpass a personal achievement of being first runner up last year he also failed to pip teammate Chinyengetere to the top gong.
Moyo has been a pillar at the heart of the miners defence and a regular in coach Sunday Chidzambwa’s team with many of the view he has outgrown this league and ripe for pastures new abroad.
His attributes have not gone unnoticed as well and has during the course of the year been linked with a number of South African premiership teams, including SuperSport United coached by compatriot Kaitano “Ngwenya” Tembo.
Former Harare City man, Farai Madhanaga, has been a revelation since joining FC Platinum at the start of the year, despite his brilliant toil in central midfield for the champions, he was a surprise omission in the top three.
Given the consistency of Madhanaga and Moyo, coach Norman Mapeza is at risk of losing the talented trident to foreign leagues with Chinyengetere’s move having been already confirmed.
Mapeza, just like his player a, also retained the Coach of the Year while there was a tie for the Referee of the Year shared by Ruzive Ruzive and Norman Matemera.