Soccer Stars' big night

THE 2016 Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year will be inducted into the elite club at a ceremony to be held in the capital tonight and be immortalised alongside the greats of the local game.

In a generally average season for most Premiership teams, there has to be a winner and who will walk away with the big award remains to be seen this evening in what promises to be a glittering ceremony at a Harare hotel. 
The Soccer Stars selection was done on Tuesday by a panel of football writers, club coaches and captains who met in the capital to pick 11 players who make up the finalists for this year’s Soccer Stars of the Year and now their king awaits the crowning moment.

Tonight, the country will know who the selectors believe was the best player on the domestic scene in the just-ended season which saw CAPS United being crowned champions, ending over a decade without winning the title.

Delta Beverages, who are official sponsors of the Premiership, are also bankrolling tonight’s awards where the winner is guaranteed to pocket $5 000.

His two runners-up will also be named from the 11 finalists will get $3 000 and $2 000 respectively with the rest of the finalists taking home $1 000 each.

The Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and the Referee of the Year will also be honoured at the same event.
CAPS United’s Lloyd Chitembwe, Norman Mapeza of FC Platinum and Highlanders’ Erol Akbay will battle it out for the Coach Of The Year award.

There is also an award for the Goalkeeper of the Year with FC Platinum’s Petros Mhari being a clear favourite after an outstanding season with the platinum miners, who conceded the league title to the Green Machine on the last of the season. 

CAPS United’s Leonard Tsipa has already been confirmed the Golden Boot Award winner after finishing the season with 12 goals.

Tsipa is also in the running for the Soccer Star award after making in on the 11 finalists list.
Tonight’s winner will be inducted into the hall of fame, which was started in 1969 when George Shaya won the first award while playing for Dynamos.

Shaya was crowned Soccer Star of the Year five times, Peter Ndlovu won the award twice while the late Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma was also a two-time winner.

Danny Phiri was crowned Soccer Star of the Year last season after leading the Gamecocks to their first-ever title in the club’s history before moving to South Africa where he joined Absa Premiership side Golden Arrows.
2016 Soccer Stars full list
Leonard Tsipa (CAPS United), Hardlife Zvirekwi (CAPS United), Ronald Pfumbidzayi (CAPS United), Gift Mbweti (Hwange), Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Godknows Murwira (Dynamos), Petros Mhari (FC Platinum), Winston Mhango (FC Platinum), Walter Musona (FC Platinum), Clement Matawu (Chicken Inn), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum).

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