HARARE – FC Platinum marksman Rodwell Chinyengetere was crowned Soccer Star of the Year on Friday night, in a stunning personal triumph as he also became the second player since 1980 to win the award in two successive seasons.
Chinyengetere, whose 17 goals in the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season fired the Zvishavane club to championship glory, follows in the footsteps of Peter Ndlovu who has held the record since 1991.
The 30-year-old, who also collected the Golden Boot award, described his success as a “miracle”.
Chinyengetere, then playing for Hwange, looks back to a shin fracture he suffered on his right leg in 2012 as the day God showered him with grace.
“I probably shouldn’t be here. I really thought my career was over. When I look back at my recovery and everything that has happened since, I just think it’s a miracle,” said Chinyengetere.
“I would like to believe that God had planned it this way.”
Chinyengetere, who had joined Hwange from Zimbabwe Saints, was playing for the coalminers away to Monomotapa at Gwanzura when the hosts’ goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi lunged at him.
Referee Batsirai Muchenje missed the foul and waved play-on, but was summoned back by the shaken offender as Chinyengetere wreathed in agony, his leg twisted.
Chinyengetere, who received emergency treatment at Harare’s Avenues Clinic, was back playing within four months. Now, every time he steps on the pitch he takes nothing for granted – God has given him a second chance.
The late bloomer knows he has won his last individual accolade on the domestic scene, and looks forward to a new challenge in the South African ABSA Premier Soccer League where he is set to sign for Baroka FC.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge but at the moment my focus is on helping FC Platinum to qualify for the group stage of the CAF Champions League,” he said.
His teammate Kevin Moyo finished as the 3rd best player behind Triangle United striker Lameck Nhamo.
Norman Mapeza retained the Coach of the Year award, having won it last year when he led FC Platinum to their first ever league title.
The Most Promising Player award for a player under 21 years of age went to Tatenda Tumba of Harare City while Highlanders’ Ariel Sibanda picked the best goalkeeper accolade.
League debutants Bulawayo Chiefs were named the Most Disciplined Team in 2018 after picking up the fewest cautions and red cards.
2018 Soccer Star of the Year – Rodwell Chinyengetere (FC Platinum)
1st Runner-up: Lameck Nhamo (Triangle United)
2nd Runner-up: Kevin Moyo (FC Platinum)
Golden Boot Award: Rodwell Chinyengetere (FC Platinum)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)
Most Promising Player of the Year: Tatenda Tumba (Harare City)
Coach of the Year: Norman Mapeza (FC Platinum)
Most DisciplinedT: Bulawayo Chiefs
Referee of the Year: Ruzive Ruzive and Norman Matemera
1st Runner-up: Lackson Mhara
2nd Runner-up: Tafadzwa Nkhala