The Sunday News
Fungai Muderere in Harare
MOMENTS after he was crowned the King of Zimbabwean football, tearful FC Platinum midfield magician, Walter Musona, revealed that a series of nagging injuries and the fact that he was a foreigner when he did duty in South Africa, almost got the better of him in his football career.
Walter, who is the younger brother to celebrated former Warriors captain, Knowledge, was crowned the country’s Soccer Star of the Year on Friday night at a glittering ceremony in Harare that saw Caps United’s William Manondo being named the first runner-up while Dynamos’ combative defender Frank Makarati was named the second runner up to the top prize.
“I want to say thank you to God, to my coach (Norman Mapeza), my mother and my sister here present for the support they gave me. It was not an easy season for us as a team. I’m glad I bounced back to Zimbabwe to showcase what I’m made of. A continuous nagging groin and ankle injuries affected my ability during my time at Polokwane City in South Africa,” said an emotional 26-year-old Musona.
He added: “I later moved to Sekhukhune United where I unfortunately I did not get game time. I dedicate my recent success to my three-year-old daughter, Alexis. I think it means a lot to her, to me and my entire family. I have never been under pressure to emulate my bigger brother Knowledge, who has been very supportive. He kept on encouraging me to keep on going on.”
The older of the Musona brothers is playing for Al-Tai in the Saudi Professional League. Previously, he has played in South Africa, Belgium and Germany. Walter was dominant in FC Platinum’s championship winning campaign, which saw them claim the country’s biggest football trophy four times on the trot to match a record only achieved by Highlanders and Dynamos, the most supported teams in the country.
The Aces Youth Academy product had 14 goals and five assists under his belt for the Zvishavane based club, three behind Manondo who resultantly won the 2021/2022 season Golden Boot Award.
For his breathtaking and indefatigable efforts Walter, deservedly succeeded 2019 Soccer Star of the Year, Joel “Josta” Ngodzo and walked away with US$5 000 as his prize money. Pint sized Manondo got US$3 000, while Makarati received US$2 500.
The inaugural Fans’ Choice, which was voted in by the supporters, was shockingly bagged by Herentals’ Tinotenda Benza, who also picked the Chibuku Super Cup Golden Boot award with two goals to his name.
Agile goalkeeper Nelson Chadya of Ngezi Platinum Stars got the Goalkeeper of the Year gong. Madamburo, as Ngezi Platinum is known by their fans, also received the Most Disciplined Team of the Year award.
Youthful Jayden Barake, who turned out for relegated Whawha was named the Most Promising Player of the Year. Bulawayo’s Martin Chivandire and Faith Mloyi came out as the Referee of the Year and first runner-up respectively. The second runner up was Tafadzwa Nkala.
FULL LIST OF AWARD WINNERS
Soccer Star of the Year: Walter Musona
First runner-up: William Manondo
Second runner-up: Frank Makarati
Fan’s Player of the Year: Tinotenda Benza
Coach of the Year: Norman Mapeza
Golden Boot winner: William Manondo
Referee of the Year: Martin Chivandire
First Runner-up: Faith Mloyi
Most Promising Young Player: Jayden Barake
Goalkeeper of the Year: Nelson Chadya
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