Charles Sibanda is Zimbabwe's Soccer Star!!!
Former Motor Action striker Charles Sibanda has been crowned Soccer Star of the Year by Zimbabwe's football writers.
Sibanda, who scored eight Premier League goals last season, was a key member of the Mighty Bulls team which won its maiden championship.
Former Highlanders midfielder Joel Ngodzo was the first runner up, while former Dynamos winger Benjamin Marere was unveiled at the second round up at an awards banquet on Thursday night.
Sibanda, Ngodzo have quit their teams to join newly-promoted Platinum Stars while Marere has turned his back on Dynamos to join ambitious Northern Region Division One side, Highfield United.
CAPS United shot stopper Edmore Sibanda won Goalkeeper of the Year.
Joey Antipas, Motor Action's title-winning coach, was named Coach of the Year.
Bulawayo referee Thabani Mkantjo picked the Referee of the Year gong.
The awards had no sponsor until the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority weighed in at the last minute with prize money and trophies.
Sibanda picked a US$3,000 cheque, Ngodzo US$2,000 and Marere went home with US$1,000.
The three players will also each receive US$500 along with the rest of the 11 Soccer Star of the Year finalists.
The unveiling of the soccer star brings to an end a long running saga which started in December with journalists from Harare boycotting the selection process after their favourites Washington Arubi and Ashley Rambanepasi were disqualified for unsporting behaviour during the abandoned BancABC semi-final between Highlanders and Dynamos.
Soccer Star of the Year
Charles Sibanda US$3,000
First Runner Up
Joel Ngodzo US$2,000
Second Runner Up
Benjamin Marere US$1,000
Top Goal Scorer of the Year
Norman Maroto US$500
(Scored 21 league and 5 cup goals)
Goalkeeper of the Year
Edmore Sibanda US$500
Coach of the Year
Joey Antipas US$500
Referee of the Year
Thabani Mkantjo US$500
Premier League's Best XI
(US$ 500 each)
Edmore Sibanda, Fortune Ncube, Nyasha Mukumbi, Benjamin Marere, Joel Ngodzo, Desmond Maringwa, Mernard Mupera, Charles Sibanda, Bheki Ncube, Allan Gahadzikwa, Norman Maroto