WHAT will 2018 bring to the sports world? Sunday Life has an idea and shares its sublime predictions for the coming year. Here are 52 of them, one for each week of 2018:
1. FC Platinum repeats as Castle Premiership champions. This isn’t looking so obvious right now, as Platinum will be fighting with Ngezi Platinum Stars for the top spot. Plus, Dynamos and Chicken Inn are loaded. Still, we’re betting on Rodwell Chinyengetere and Co.
2. Liverpool wins the English Premier League title. After just falling short a couple of years ago — rival Chelsea needed Steven Gerard’s intervention to take the title — Liverpool, currently in fourth place, will come from behind and claim the championship. Having Mo Salah surely helps.
3. Chevrons beat West Indies in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe in March. We see the Heath Streak and his men somehow squeaking past the West Indies and qualifying for the 2019 World Cup. But we all know that the Chevrons, however, will still lose! Wishful thinking!
4 Scott Vincent makes the cut at Augusta. Zimbabwe’s highest-ranked golfer at 319 in the world hasn’t had it easy on the PGA Tour: his top finish was 3rd place at the Indonesian Masters towards the end of last year. This year, the phenom mixes it up with the big boys.
5. Harare Metropolitan Eagles repeats as Logan Cup champions. The Eagles, led by once-in-a-generation coach Stanley Timoni, a diminutive boss who gets the best out his players with ease, are a trailblazing bunch. Expect another Eagles title: Timoni, the most dominant first class coach in Logan Cup history, will continue to make history with another title.
1. There’s no clear-cut Zifa Southern Region Division One favourite this year, so our projection can fit in this category. Hwange is a fashionable pick, given how well they always rebounded after relegation. But we have a feeling that Tsholotsho, finances permitting, will shed their reps and try to get back with big boys immediately.
2. More than a decade later, Highlanders wins a league title. The old knock on Highlanders — “they don’t care enough about football” — couldn’t seem more ridiculous now. It turns out that the club’s dependence on hired guns may have prevented the sort of all out winning spirit that consumes so many budding stars. Coming off a 2017 season that saw the faded giants win nothing, look for Madinda Ndlovu and his coterie of raw talent to kick-start Bosso’s revival.
3. Local wins Zimbabwe Golf Open. This will be annual, until someone takes a putter and keeps the title on local shores for the first time in 17 years when Mark McNulty won what was then CABS Old Mutual Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare Golf Club. Someone has to win one at some point, right?
4. KweseTV signs a deal with the Premier Soccer League, just in the nick of time to save local football. Because no professional sport can withstand the current financial losses being suffered by Premiership clubs.
5. Norman Mapeza keeps talking, keeps winning and keeps being the local football’s shining light. The lanky former Warrior is in his prime as a coach and has unshakable confidence, and his second foray into Africa should be fascinating viewing. You could even argue this one belongs in “Obviously.”
Come On, Really Dude?
1. A local side will win the Caf Champions league this year. It’s never happened since . . . well, never! Might as well make this an annual too, so that when it does happen, we can say we called it.
2. Tendai Ndoro joins Highlanders . . . and wins the league title and the Golden Boot. Take that, Sicken Inn!
3. Modern Ngwenya does a mea culpa on destroying the Highlanders legacy. And for those that don’t know, mea culpa is a Latin phrase and means “through my fault and is an acknowledgement of having done wrong”
4. Rodwell Chinyengetere will actually suffer a Post-Success Slump (PSS). (Me thinks he’s a one hit wonder . . . And he’s had few in his career.)
5. Cristiano Ronaldo scores fewer than 90 goals in 2018. Ridiculous, we know. Right? Right? @AllanFoti