THE recently concluded Castle Lager Premier Soccer League 2015 season saw 240 matches being played in which a total of 502 goals were scored, 14 goals up from last season’s tally.
“While some want to point out that our strikers are becoming blunt, I personally think our defenders have become world class. So, respect our defenders and goalkeepers for a job well done. It is therefore, not surprising that we have two goalkeepers on the 2015 Soccer Stars list,” said Delta Corporation marketing director Maxen Karombo.
Chicken Inn’s Elvis Chipezeze and Tatenda Mukuruva of Dynamos are the two goalkeepers that made it into the 2015 Soccer Stars list.
As if that was not enough, Chipezeze got the Goalkeeper of the Year award while 20-year-old Mukuruva was named the Most Promising Player while Chicken Inn skipper Danny ‘Deco’ Phiri was crowned the country’s Soccer Star of the Year.
Selectors – who included journalists, coaches and team captains – picked Phiri ahead of Ocean Mushure of Dynamos (first runner-up) and Highlanders’ Knox Mutizwa (second runner-up). The free scoring Mutizwa also emerged as the Golden Boot Award winner with 14 goals under his belt.
Karombo said the 2015 season saw the game spread to more towns where PSL matches were played.
“Harare had four teams, Bulawayo four clubs, Gweru two teams, while Hwange, Kariba, Triangle and Rusape had one team each. The league brought football closer to the people who are consumers of our brand (Castle),” he said adding that Delta’s investment in the game went beyond Castle Lager Premier Soccer League as they participated in the development of technical capacity for national teams.
“In a remarkable year that saw our Mighty Warriors qualify for a historic berth at the Rio Olympics and our senior men’s Warriors qualify for the CHAN tournament, Castle Lager proudly sponsored three national team coaches to attend a coaching clinic in Lusaka, Zambia. Through our association with FC Barcelona, the Warriors coach (Kallisto Pasuwa), Mighty Warriors coach (Shadreck Mlauzi) and national Under 23 men’s team coach (Nation Dube) were part of an Africa wide coaching clinic conducted by FC Barcelona coaches in Zambia,” he said.