DEBATE on who has been the best player this term has erupted earlier than usual – and promises to get more heated – as the Castle Premier Soccer League heads towards what Sir Alex Ferguson would call “squeaky bum time”.
The topflight has given us some classy moments over the 21 match days it has blessed us with so far.
Look back on these three highlights: Christian Epoupa’s superb volley against Harare City; Walter Mukanga’s sublime opener against ZPC Kariba; and Innocent Muchaneka glitzy show when Chicken Inn and FC Platinum played a thriller at Mandava last weekend.
A season that started with a record low number of goals on the opening day is promising to become the stuff of legend with the league race looking set to be decided by the finest of margins.
But who has been the best player in the Premiership so far?
If you ask Dynamos supporters it’s Ocean Mushure. Caps United fans will probably say anyone else but a DeMbare man. The daring would suggest Devon Chafa has been Mr Consistent for an inconsistent side.
Ngezi Platinum Stars fans will argue that Walter Mukanga has been magical while those who believe in Highlanders will point to Rahman Kutsanzira.
FC Platinum have had Gerald Takwara in fine form, Muchaneka and Devine Lunga have been doing the business at Chicken Inn; while Munyaradzi Diya has provided a safe pair of hands between the posts for How Mine.
Those who root for the underdog will probably opine that scoring 10 goals for a struggling club like Bantu Rovers puts Bukhosi Sibanda – who has since crossed the Limpopo – in a class of his own.
Mushure has been in fine form of late and after he scored his third consecutive league goal in DeMbare’s 2-0 win over Hwange in midweek, our sister paper The Herald said he was currently the best player in the land.“Ocean Mushure is currently the best player in the domestic Premiership , by a country mile, and in every game for a Dynamos side he is leading with distinction, both as captain and goal scoring hero, he appears to be on a mission to convert those who argue otherwise,” wrote Grace Chingoma.
One will be hard-pressed to find any among the DeMbare faithful who would disagree with the assertion that Mushure is standing bald head and shoulders above the rest.
The Dynamos skipper is enjoying life on the left side of midfield, scoring for fun as he inches towards the twilight.
Mushure, who turned 32 last month, says life is best enjoyed on the left side of the park.
“It’s not my first time to play in this position,” he said last week. “During my days at Monomotapa I played in this position and scored goes too, so I had no problems adjusting to this new role when my coach switched me from left-back.”
Until being moved up the field after the Cosafa Castle Cup, Mushure played like a man his age.
And during the time Ocean was at sea (we couldn’t resist that one!), Cameroonian import Epoupa was the go-to man, creating and scoring with a heady mix of finesse and brutality.
But upon his return from the successful Cosafa Castle Cup sojourn, Mushure has been on point and a few more weeks of this purple patch may see him standing where Hardlife Zvirekwi stood at the end of last season. As the Soccer Star of the Year.
If history is anything to go by, then the team that wins the league stands a better chance of providing the Soccer Star of the Year.
Last year Caps United were champions and Zvirekwi was king, while in 2015 Danny Phiri was voted the Soccer Star of the Year as Chicken Inn won the title. With Dynamos firmly in the mix for the title, Mushure too remains in contention for personal glory after match day 30.
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