Who was the best this season?
Nkosilathi Sibanda and Innocent Kurira
NOW that the football season is over, the fans await to know who will make to the best list of players that will feature in this year’s Castle Lager Premiership stars’ calendar.
This morning a voting panel comprising sports writers, coaches and captains will be tasked to cast the ballot to elect the best players of the season.
Voting will be for the top eleven, coach and rookie of the year.
The soccer star of the year will be revealed on Friday.
The selection will also take into account the process of identifying the best coach, goalkeeper and the rookie of the season.
It has not been a stroll in the park for the 18 teams that make up the league. Surely, it was one season of duels that produced the kind of reality there is in local football.
The stars selection is wrap of what was seen on the football pitch. What will make the distinction is the individual brilliance shown by the players.
There were times when spectators of the game cheered to the quality they had seen. In some match days, that quality waned leaving the same fans disappointed.
There are teams that had players who were so smart and never shy to ink some of their ball skills on the turf. In that competition that went for 34 games, others failed to show why they were in the Premiership.
Of course, that’s the mark of football.
Good players shine better and everyone wants to watch entertaining football.
It is those players who entertained skillfully and amassed results that will make it to the list.
From the smart, clinical passes to the sublime goals and the assists, that is where the best 11 will come from.
Not forgetting the tough as teak defenders. They too will be awarded.
It is a given norm that not everyone will agree with the voting panel. Those kind of reservations are a typical feature of the debate.
But, all the same, a preview of individual performances will help put paid to who will make it to the calendar. It is likely that players who made it for the monthly awards will again be selected.
Voting panelists will have a hard time scratching their heads, trying to separate the best from the “chuff”. But, players that deserve have their names already cast in stone.
For now, it’s a game of prediction.
Fans have their own platform to cast their choices as well.
First on the expectant list is Highlanders’ Peter Muduhwa.
Without doubt, the lad pulled a good show at the back.
As vice-captain of the club, he commandeered a defence line that was incomparable for the better part of the season.
He will be one player to make it.
In that team there is the Andrew Mbeba and Mbongeni Ndlovu.
The underrated Ndlovu has been consistent for Highlanders as a centre back. Ndlovu who is naturally a leftback formed a solid central pairing with Muduhwa this season.
One would expect the champions Ngezi Platinum to produce the majority of players on the list but their campaign seemed to be more about teamwork rather than individual brilliance.
From Ngezi Platinum, Takunda Benhura who scored 13 goals is most certain to be on the list, so is caption Qadr Amini and goalkeeper Nelson Chadya.
Obriel Chirinda, whose 12 goals helped Bulawayo Chiefs survive relegation is almost an automatic entry, so is Michael Charamba whose impressive shifts for the GamCocks sees him with 10 goals to his name.
Manica Diamond’s striker Fortune Binzi caught many by surprise this season, though the goals seem to have dried along the way, his 10 goals were crucial in Manica Diamonds finishing as runners up.
The Dynamos midfield duo of Tanaka Shandirwa and Donald Mudadi was probably one of the season’s best revelations. Shandirwa has been impressive for Dynamos.
Since joining from Yadah the midfielder has impressed with his amazing work rate as a box-to-box midfielder.
Mudadi has also become a fan favourite with his ability to dribble past defenders and find the neat passes between pockets has seen him win the hearts of many.
He has five goals to his name this season.
Still with Dynamos, Emmanuel Jalai has also been consistent for Dembare and could sneak into the calender. FC Platinum have not been at their best this season but Brian Banda may be difficult to ignore for the selectors.
Caps United’s Rodwell Chinyengetere and Simba Bhora’s Tinashe Balakasi could be surprise entries.