By Sports Reporter
CHAMPIONS FC Platinum have provided the most number of players on the 2018 Soccer Stars calendar with reigning player of the Rodwell Chinyengetere, Farai Madhanhanga and last year second runner-up Kevin Moyo making the list following the selection process in Harare on Thursday.
It is the first time since 2005 that fading giants Dynamos do not have a player on the Soccer Stars list.
Dynamos had a forgettable season in which they flirted with relegation all season long.
Goalkeepers have a representative on the calendar this year, after firing blanks last season, Highlanders shot stopper Ariel Sibanda a surprising inclusion.
Runners-up Ngezi Platinum Stars contributed two in the form of Godknows Murwira and speedster Michael Charamba while Chibuku champions Triangle FC have Lameck Nhamo and Phineas Bamusi.
Another surprise choice was CAPS United’s Joel Ngodzo with David Temwanjira Innocent Muchaneka completing the card.
Chicken Inn coach was happy with the final selection but he had reservation about the standard of football exhibited in the past season.
“I believe all who are on the soccer stars calendar fully deserve it. There is not one player you can say did not deserve it so it’s thumbs up to the selection panel,” he told New Zimbabwe.com.
“But I think that the level of football in our league was not good enough. What we need to do is to create a formidable league. I think the teams that are coming in from the lower league are generally financially well-backed which is good.
“Telone, Manica Diamonds and Hwange have good sponsorship but Mushowani will surely struggle. I also think the league is too big we should just create 16-team league made up of top teams which will make the league more exciting,” he added.
Apart from the best 11, the panel of selectors including journalists, coaches and team captains chose the best players of the season as well as the coach, goalkeeper and the most promising young player of the year.
While the soccer stars were announced yesterday the individual winners will be announced at a ceremony on December 7.
Some of the players who are conspicuous by their absence include Chicken Inn’s Obriel Chirinda, Moses Muchenje and Tatenda Tumba (Chicken Inn), Ralph Matema (Yadah FC), McClive Phiri (Highlanders) and Lot Chiwunga (Black Rhinos) to mention but a few.
2018 Soccer Stars of the Year Finalists
Ariel Sibanda, David Temwanjera, Farai Madhanhanga, Godknows Murwira, Innocent Mucheneka, Joel Ngodzo, Kevin Moyo, Michael Charamba, Lameck Nhamo, Phineas Bamusi, Rodwell Chinyengetere