Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FOOTBALL fans have tipped in-form Highlanders FC striker Prince Dube to be among the top three Castle Lager Soccer Stars to be selected by 77 voters.
Seventy-seven of the voters are; 41 sports journalists, 18 club captains and 18 Premiership coaches.
As the norm, voting for the players who have been in top form will be done electronically.
The 11 players who will garner most votes in today’s poll will be announced immediately after selection concludes, with the Soccer Star of the Year, the two runners-up and Rookie of the Year to be known at a banquet to be held next month.
In a snap survey conducted by Chronicle Sport, the names of players who featured prominently from the list of fans were Dube who has been in good form scoring beautiful goals that have helped his team move up the table, Caps United midfield magician Joel Ngodzo a vital cog at the Harare giants’ title charge, TelOne midfielder King Nadolo who despite joining the Gweru side midseason has scored 10 goals, four behind top scorer Clive Augusto.
The former Chicken Inn striker Augusto who moved to South Africa’s Maritzburg United during the midseason transfer window after scoring 14 goals which still top the top goal scorers’ chart is tipped to be part of the best players as well as Dynamos forward, Evans Katema.
Below are some of fans’ choices.
Aaron Handikatari: Joel Ngodzo, Evans Katema, Prince Dube, Never Tigere, Phinias Bhamusi, Partson Jaure.
Mthazo Tshuma: Prince Dube, Peter Muduhwa and Ariel Sibanda.
Robson Chitseko: Ariel Sibanda, Peter Muduwa, Never Tigere, Ian Nekati, Joel Ngodzo, King Nadolo, Xolani Moyo, Ralph Kawondera, Clive Augusto, Kelvin Madzongwe, Evans Katema.
Mthandazo Gumbo: Prince Dube because he didn’t only serve his club well, but did so for the senior national team, the Under-23s and was the top goalscorer in the Chan qualifiers. He has scored crucial goals. Ariel Sibanda has kept 16 clean sheets, Peter Muduwa besides being a mature defender, scored crucial goals for Highlanders. Joel Ngodzo played very well at Caps United, scored crucial goals and he is the engine room for Caps United. Never Tigere of FC Platinum, former Chicken Inn striker Clive Augusto had a good first half of the season. King Nadolo is leading TelOne’s relegation fight, Dynamos striker Evans Katema scored crucial goal for his teams and he single- handedly drove Mushowani Stars in the first half of the season. Ralph Matema of Yadah besides being old, has been in good form, Ian Nekati has proven to be mature. Guide Goddard marshalled Chicken Inn’s defence very well.
Francis Ncube: King Nadolo has been the TelOne “King” driving their survival. Ariel Sibanda “Mr Clean Sheets” his statistics are second to none with 16 clean sheets, four goals and four penalty saves. Prince Dube and Peter Mudhuwa have been exceptional.
Jasper Moyo: Ariel Sibanda a goalkeeper with most clean sheets, also scoring crucial goals for Highlanders through penalties. Prince Dube the main man at Highlanders, scoring magnificent goals. Others that deserve to be selected include Nqobizitha Masuku, Ian Nyoni, Joel Ngodzo, Peter Mudhuwa, McClive Phiri, Evans Katema, Ian Nekati and Partson Jaure.
Trust Jim: It has been a great season and I will go with Ariel Sibanda who kept the most number of clean sheets, the leading scorer Clive Augusto, national team right back Ian Nekati, Prince Dube, Triangle’s Ralph Kawondera, Joel Ngodzo, Peter Mduli Muduhwa, Emmanuel Jalai, Xolani Ndlovu and Evans Katema.
Douglas Zakaria: According to my own point of observation, the 11 Soccer Stars to make it to the calendar will be chosen from the following list; Prince Dube, Simbarashe Chinani, Joel Ngodzo, Emmanuel Jalai, Peter Muduhwa, Patson Jaure, Ian Nyoni, Ralph Kawondera, Leeroy Mavhunga, King Nadolo, Never Tigere, Nelson Chadya, Takabva Mawaya, Donald Teguru and Takudzwa Chimwemwe.
Brighton Mpofu: Nqobizitha Masuku has been Bosso’s unsung hero. Prince Dube is the man of the moment and is one of my top three contenders. Ralph Kawondera the man behind Triangle United’s success in the African Safari deserves a place in this year’s calendar. Joel Ngodzo has helped Caps United to be where they are on the log standings. Ian Nekati of ZPC Kariba has been firm and consistent.
Prince Maunga: Peter Muduhwa is the backbone of our team possessing the grit needed to do whatever it takes to prevent the opponents from scoring. He has a hard and often unappreciated job.
Mentally, he is tough and has determination to always win. He has a good defending ability and his speed is good. Muduhwa has a great passing ability and can manage to head the ball to defend against aerial passes, crosses, and set piece. He is not selfish he works with other defenders and midfielders to be effective.
Lloyd Pasi: Ralph Kawondera, Ariel Sibanda, Nqobizitha Masuku and Joel Ngodzo really impressed me this season.
Divine Msipha: We tend to forget players who illuminate the stage in the first half like Clive Augusto and Joel Ngodzo, as well as Wellington Tederera of Black Rhinos. I hope selectors will include them alongside man of the moment Prince Dube, Ariel Sibanda, Andrew Mbeba, King Nadolo, Ralph Kawondera, Ian Nekati and Evans Katema.
Tawengwa Zidya: Peter Muduhwa is a complete player and can play at any position besides being a goalie. Tinashe Makanda can take on any defenders without fear, Prince Dube came late into partnership though much was expected from him. Nqobizitha Masuku is always ever green, never puts a foot wrong, is dedicated and disciplined. That short number 2 from Dynamos (Emmanuel Jalai), Never Tigere, Joel Ngodzo and the dreadlocked Manica Diamonds midfielder, Last Jesi, deserve a shot on the calendar.
Knox Mikazhu: It’s rare to get a goalkeeper who keeps 16 clean sheets, scores and saves penalties. I was also impressed by Evans Katema who came from a small team (Mushowani Stars) and settled at Dynamos and if it wasn’t for a long injury layoff, he could have surpassed Clive Augusto’s 14 goals. Augusto also left Chicken Inn positioned well in the title race. Prince Dube picked form at the right time and has showed that he is a classy player. King Nadolo deserved to be selected because his 10 goals have helped TelOne escape relegation. Joel Ngodzo has been Caps United’s engine, while Ian Nekati has been good for ZPC Kariba.
The best defensive linkmen Nqobizitha Masuku and Chicken Inn’s Tichaona Chipunza as well as Peter Muduhwa and Ralph Kawondera deserve to be selected. — @ZililoR.