Musona dedicates award to mother

04 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
Musona dedicates award to mother

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda
Sports Reporter

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza offered Walter Musona a second chance and the Norton-bred footballer grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Musona thought about all this as he walked to the podium on Friday night to collect the coveted Soccer Star of the Year trophy.

“You know, people can talk and speculate, but sometimes what they think is not really what’s happening,” he told The Sunday Mail Sport.

“When I came back to Zimbabwe late last year, I was not confident that I would catch up with the guys because I had gone for six months without playing.

“But, with the help I got from my coach and teammates, I managed to get back on my feet.

“They were pushing me every day because they knew what I was capable of doing, especially the coach, Mapeza; I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart.”

Mapeza has a history with the Musona family.

He gave Walter’s elder brother, Knowledge, his first senior national team cap back in 2010, when the respected gaffer was in charge of the Warriors.

Knowledge would go on to grow into a reliable Warrior, who not only captained Zimbabwe at the African Cup of Nations finals, but also scored crucial goals before his retirement from international football early this year.

Mapeza has now resurrected Walter’s career.

“I think Mapeza is the best coach in the country.

“It’s not Knowledge or myself only who have benefitted from his mentorship; there are many players who have learnt from him, some who are now playing in foreign leagues.”

Walter got more emotional when talking about the support he got from his family, especially when days were dark.

“My family played a big role when things were not good, especially when I came back from South Africa.

“My mom, sister and brother kept encouraging me.

“So, when it was announced that I was the Soccer Star of the Year, those are the people who came to my mind first,” he said.

“I remembered all those words of encouragement when things were down and low.

“Now that things are starting to look better, I don’t have to relax. I don’t have to disappoint them (family).”

Walter has always lived in the shadows of his more illustrious brother Knowledge, but the FC Platinum talisman now feels he is his own man.

However, he values the support he gets from his brother, whom he calls regularly before and after matches.

“He (Knowledge) is very supportive,” says Musona.

“Each and every time before I play a game or a day before a match, I talk to him. He is always encouraging me, telling me what to do.

“He is someone who wants to see me achieving like what he did.”

Walter says he, however, does not ride on Knowledge’s talent or fame.

“I broke out of my brother’s shadows a long time ago. Some people think I am a beneficiary of Knowledge’s talent; they think I benefit because I am Knowledge’s younger brother.

“But, those who analyse football know that I have got my own talent and Knowledge has got his own.

“So, I don’t have to rely on Knowledge, but he is someone who always gives me advice.”

Eight years ago, Walter was in the race for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League’s Most Promising Player award, which was eventually won by Blessing “Bisto” Moyo, who was still with Dynamos.

And now he is the best player in the top-flight league.

“I am happy, but I think somewhere, somehow, I get disturbed in my football journey. One day, I am at the top, the other time, I am down, hameno zvinoitika.

“I think I have to really look and analyse what really happens in my career.

“I was one of the most promising players in 2014 and it took me eight years to become Soccer Star of the Year, so, it tells you there is something wrong.

“If I worked harder back then, I would have achieved this a long time ago,” said Musona.

He succeeds Joel “Josta” Ngodzo, who last won the gong with CAPS United in 2019.

There were no awards in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19.

Champions FC Platinum have now provided a Soccer Star of the Year winner on three occasions in the last four seasons.

Rodwell Chinyengetere won it twice in succession in 2017 and 2018.

Musona, who pocketed US$5 000 in prize money, becomes only the eighth player to win the ultimate individual prize while playing for a team from outside Harare and Bulawayo since the inception of the award in 1969.

Tendai Chieza (Mangula, later Mhangura, — 1970), Ephert Lungu (Rio Tinto — 1983), James Takavada (Ziscosteel — 1984), Walter Chuma (Hwange — 1997), Maxwell Dube (Chapungu — 2001), Dennis Dauda (ZPC Kariba — 2014), Rodwell Chinyengetere (FC Platinum — 2017, 2018) are the other players who achieved that feat.

Musona beat stiff competition from CAPS United striker and Golden Boot winner William Manondo.

Dynamos centre-back Frank Makarati was the second runner-up.

DeMbare have not provided a Soccer Star of the Year winner since 2013, when Tawanda Muparati ruled the roost.

Despite enduring that barren spell, Dynamos have featured the highest number of winners, claiming the accolade on 15 occasions, five of which went to the legendary George Shaya.

Shaya won it in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976 and 1977, Ernest Kamba (1973), David Mandigora (1980), Japhet Mparutsa (1982), Moses Chunga (1986), Memory Mucherahowa (1994), Tauya Murewa (1995), Murape Murape (2007), Washington Arubi (2011), Denver Mukamba (2012) and Muparati (2013) claimed the award while at DeMbare.

CAPS United come second after DeMbare with nine players.

Shacky Tauro was the first Makepekepe player to win the top gong in 1979, before Stanley Ndunduma (1981), George Nechironga (1990), Stewart Murisa (1996), Energy Murambadoro (2003), Cephas Chimedza (2004), Joseph Kamwendo (2005), Hardlife Zvirekwi (2016) and Joel Ngodzo in 2019.

Highlanders have won it on five occasions — Mercedes Sibanda (1987), Peter Ndlovu (1990, 1991), Zenzo Moyo (2000) and Dazzy Kapenya (2002).

Bosso have now gone for exactly two decades without providing a Soccer Star of the Year.

Following Musona’s crowning on Friday night, FC Platinum are now on three together with Zimbabwe Saints, who had

Moses Moyo (1974), Ephraim Chawanda (1988) and Agent Sawu in 1993.

That was before the Bulawayo outfit fell on hard times.

 

 Winners:

Soccer Star of the Year — Walter Musona

First runner-up — William Manondo

Second runner-up — Frank Makarati

Top goal scorer — William Manondo (17 goals)

Coach of the Year — Norman Mapeza

Goalkeeper of the Year — Nelson Chadya

Fans’ Player of the Year — Tino Benza

Referee of the Year — Martin Chivandire

Most Disciplined Team — Ngezi Platinum Stars

   Twitter: @LangtonGuraz

 

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