The Highlanders trio of captain and goal minder Ariel Sibanda, 19-year-old centre-back Andrew Kabila Mbeba and forward Prince Dube stole the show at the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Soccer Star awards held in Harare on Friday evening.
Sibanda curved his on piece of history becoming the first ever Highlanders goalkeeper in modern football to be crowned goalkeeper of the year three times.
He begged the award in 2012, and in 2018, before his impressive 2019 numbers saw him being crowned for the second consecutive season.
In 2018, Sibanda did not only keep an impressive 16 clean sheets in 32 league matches, but also made some brilliant saves, including two penalties to give Bosso some crucial points.
This season with two matches before the season comes to an end, he has already matched his last season’s numbers, also keeping four clean sheets during the team’s gruelling journey to the Chibuku Super Cup glory.
Bosso won the Chibuku Super Cup final without conceding a goal.
He has also saved four penalties, and also has the same number of league goals under his belt.
Prince Dube was second runner up, after Triangle FC’s Ralph Kawondera and CAPS United’s Joel Ngodzo were voted first runner up and Soccer Star of the year respectively.
Dube has been impressive all season, creating biggest chances for the team that played the entire first of the season without lady luck, and as a result, the opportunities he created were never converted into goals.
He was in many occasions, at the end of dozens of goal scoring opportunities created by team mates, but the gods of football quite often frowned at the 22-year-old as he found either the crossbar or the upright eight times in the opening 17 matches.
In the second half of the season Dube was arguably the best player in the league, scoring some beautiful and very important goals for Highlanders to lift the team off the relegation zone.
His partnership with the another equally intelligent and dangerous striker Tinashe Makanda is nightmare for defenders.
Despite starting the season a bit sow in terms of scoring goals, Dube has scored 16 goals for club and country so far in 2019.
He has banged in seven in the league, four in the Chibuku Super Cup and five goals for senior men’s national team.
Mbeba, who also had a brilliant season was given the Most Promising Player of the year award.
The young centre back becomes the first Highlanders player player to be voted the Most Prominising Player of the Year since 2016, where Dube begged the award in his maiden season.
Mbeba, the captain of the national Under 23 side has been in fine form, forming a perfect center back partnership with Peter Muduhwa, whose exclusion in the calendar has been criticised by many people.
2019 soccer star of the year
*Joel Josta Ngodzo > Caps Utd*
1st Runner up Ralph Kawondera > Triangle F.C
2nd Runner up Prince Dube > Highlanders F.C
Rookie of the year Andrew Mbeba > Highlanders F.C
Goalkeeper of year Aerial Sibanda > Highlanders F.C
Coach of the year…. Joey Antipas > Chicken Inn
2019 Castle Soccer Stars Awards Referees
Referee of the year- Brighton Chimene
First Runner Up – Faith Mloyi
Second Runner Up – Salani Ncube