Arubi Wins Top Award In SA, Pockets R150 000

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By Sports Reporter

AGELESS former Warriors goalkeeper Washington Arubi capped a memorable season in South Africa’s Dstv Premier Soccer League 2020/21 season after being named the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament during end of season awards on Sunday evening.

The award meant the 35-year-old Zimbabwe international, who finished the just ended South African Premiership season amongst the top goalkeepers in the competition, pocketed R150 000 in prize money.

Arubi was rewarded for his exploits after he kept four clean sheets to lead rank outsiders Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) to their maiden silverware in their debut season in the South African Premiership.

The former Dynamos goalkeeper, who was named Zimbabwe’s Soccer Star of the Year in 2011, was the only Zimbabwean player who featured in this year’s South Africa Premiership end-of-season awards that were held a virtual awards ceremony due to Covid-19 protocols.

Arubi was voted ahead of TTM teammate, Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, and Namibian Peter Shalulile of Mamelodi Sundowns.

The gong was the third most prestigious after the Footballer of the Season accompanied by R250 000 and the DStv Players’ Player of the Season (R200 000), which were both won by Mamelodi Sundowns’ Peter Shalulile.

Arubi was recognised after leading TTM to the Nedbank Cup with a 1-0 win over Chippa United in the final last month, was a key figure for TTM throughout the season.

He kept four clean sheets in five games in the Nedbank Cup campaign.

In addition to his heroics in the Nedbank Cup competition, Arubi also had a strong finish in the DStv Premiership as he helped his side survive relegation with 10 clean sheets in the league, following Saturday’s goalless draw against Orlando Pirates.

He was the fourth on the charts behind Ugandan Denis Onyango, who was voted DStv Premiership Goalkeeper of the Year with 15 cleans sheets, Veli Mlothwa (11) and Golden Arrows’ Sifiso Mlungwana (11).