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Date: 22 March 2019

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Top 11 Zim Foreign-based Footballers for 2012-13

[Posted 09 Jun 2013]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Top 11 Zim Foreign-based Footballers for 2012-13

The 2012/2013 season has just been concluded in most leading footballing nations in Europe, South Africa and other parts of the world which follows an August to May season. We look at those Zimbabwean footballers who raised their hands and gave the best performances throughout the season. We consider a top 11 and Footballer of the season.

A criteria has to be used to select candidates for a team of top 11 outstanding players. The players should meet the following criteria to qualify:· Performance for their respective foreign clubs. A good indicator of good performance which should earn a player in the top 11 is their contribution to the overall success of their club. Appearances per club in league and cup games help to give such an indication of the quality of performances at club level. While it may be easy to measure the impact of strikers when one looks at goals scored, it is particularly not an easy task when one considers defenders, keepers and midfielders.
· Comparable performances in the league. Good indicators include individual awards reserved for all players in the league, or nomination for such awards; awards at club level, man of the match awards, or being selected in the team of the season in that country, if at all applicable.

Based on the criteria chosen above, the following players can easily fit the bill for nominees for the top 11, but given that there are just a few Zimbabwean players who really excelled outside the country, the list could be shorter than what it could have been in the past years:

From Europe, the name of Bradley Pritchard is very easy to remember, for the role he played in helping Charlton Athletics finish the season on 9th place in the English second tier league where competition was particularly tight this past season. Charlton had just returned to the Championship during the 2012/2013 season. Pritchard became a very key player for the Addicks, and even chipped in with goals towards the end of the season.

Still in England, Onismor Bhasera was voted League Two Plymouth Argyle’s top footballer for the past season for his sterling job at the back. Plymouth were generally poor and have been fighting relegation for the past two seasons.

In Belgium, Vusa Nyoni changed clubs and now plays for Mons from Germinal Beerschot. Nyoni has been playing fairly well for his new club, but he did not excel as the Vusa that we all know. His performance was not bad at all. The same goes for OH Leuven’s new signing Ovidy Karuru, and given that he is at a new club and in a new country, Karuru still needs time to acclimatise to his new environment.

Quincy Antipas had a season to remember in Denmark this past season. He left SonderjyskE to join Danish topflight giants Brondby who were struggling during September 2012 when he joined them. He scored crucial goals to help Brondby survive relegation by a whisker on the last day of the Danish Superliga season. To those in Denmark who have never seen other Zimbabwean players elsewhere around the world believe that Antipas is the best footballer there is from Zimbabwe. This reason being simple, Antipas is clearly one of the best footballers in Denmark today, and in 2013 he proved what a quality player he is, mesmerising defenders on his way to helping giants Brondby survive relegation. For his consistent form in the Superliga, Quincy deserves his place on the top 11.

Other players from Europe who deserve a mention and a place in the team of 11 best Zimbabwean foreign-based players include Costa Nhamoinesu of ZaglebieLubin in Poland’s Ekstraklasa. Nhamoinesu has probably been Zimbabwe’s most consistent defenders in Europe, and one can understand why Warriors’ fans cannot understand why coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels has stuck to his guns and has consistently left certain Zimbabwean players, arguing that they do not fit into his style of play, even if he has not watched some of these players play football. Yet another player, whose place among the top 11 could be in doubt, is Mike Temwanjira, another consistent top performer in Europe. This past season Mbozha was kept on the sidelines for quite a few games before bouncing back with a bang for FC Vaslui who finished a disappointing 5th on the Liga 1 in Romania, by the lofty standards they have set themselves in the past three seasons in which they finished in the top 3 of Romania’s topflight football. In Sweden, Archiford Gutu has been in and out of the starting eleven for Kalmar, who currently lie 6th on Swedish topflight league log which runs from March to November. Gutu has to be excluded because he has not played for a season, unlike all the other Europe-based and South African based players.

From South Africa come the bulk of players who raised their hands for inclusion in the top 11. These players include arguably the three best performing Zimbabweans in that country. These include Kaizer Chiefs’ championship winning central midfielder and Club’s Most Improved Player award winner Willard Katsande, University of Pretoria’s footballer of the season keeper Washington Arubi and possibly Maritzburg’s Player of the Season, club top goal scorer and the ABSA Premiership’s 3rd top goal scorer Cuthbert Malajila. Other top performers from SA’s PSL include the likes of Chiefs’ Kingston Nkhatha (28 League appearances and 7 goals) , Wits’ duo of Tinashe Nengomasha and Thomas Sweswe who played 22 and 27 league matches respectively and led Wits to a remarkable 4th place finish on the log under Clive Barker. Malajila’s Maritzburg teammate Terrence Mandaza deserve mention for his 7 league goals from 25 appearances, mainly 12 of which were from the bench. This past season was by far Mandaza’s best season ever since he broke records on Botswana’s B-Mobile league by scoring an amazing 42 goals in one season, which gave him a ticket to come to SA where he joined Platinum Stars, an experience he would love to forget quickly.

Other SA-based stars who played well include Carlington Nyadombo who has been consistent in the rear of Amazulu, and played a crucial 21 games for Usuthu, scoring a goal, and missing the other games through injury. His team mate Tapuwa Kapini was on the sidelines for much longer and played in 18 matches for Amazulu. His leadership and heroics between the sticks were crucial for Amazulu and his absence was sorely felt when he was out injured. Ajax Cape Town’s dribbling wizard Khama Billiat played his best season in SA last season, and even though he was not at his best this season, he was good enough to be easily Ajax’s best player on view. His performances have torched the interest of big-spending MamelodiSundowns and Kaizer Chiefs. Billiat played 30 matches for Ajax and scored crucial 4 goals, mostly towards end of season to help Ajax survive relegation. It is difficult whether to include players such as Lionel Mtizwa or EsromNyandoro among the top performers among Zim players based in SA, given the competition from other SA-based players. The two players did make a contribution to their clubs though this past season. Nyasha Mushekwi by his standards does not deserve a place among nominees. Mushekwi knows, as much as everybody else knows, his quality deserved better performances. However, one has to understand how Sundowns went through a lean spell, including the change of coaches in one season. The chopping and changing of the starting eleven at will affected performances of players, especially the strikers who were the victims of the chopping and changing by coaches.

From Sudan and the United Arab Emirates comes forward Edward Sadomba, whose move to IttihadKalba appears more motivated by the financial side of the game than the competitiveness of that league (even though that league now boasts of stars such as Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan of UAE champions Al Ain). Before his January move to relegated Kalba, Sadomba had broken the records in Sudan by becoming the first Sudan-based player to score 23 goals in CAF club competitions. For the past two years, that is, in 2011 and 2012, Sadomba managed to finish as either the CAF Champions league Golden Boot winner and the CAF Confederations Cup top scorer, and with it came nomination for African Footballer of the Year for those years. Before packing his bags for Kalba in the UAE, Sadomba had helped Al Hilal to yet another championship ahead of bitter rivlas El Merreikh. Sadomba "Duduza" surely deserves his place among nominees for top 11 Zim players playing abroad.
Who then among all the Europe and SA-based players deserve to be in the top 11, and that individual who was the best foreign-based Zimbabwean player for the 2012/2013 season? For reasons already given, the following players deserve their place in the Team of the Foreign-based Zim stars:

Top 11 Team: Washington Arubi, Onismor Bhasera, Costa Nhamoinesu, Carlington Nyadombo, Thomas Sweswe, Willard Katsande, Tinashe Nengomasha, Bradley Pritchard, Edward Sadomba, Quincy Antipas, Cuthbert Malajila

Subs: Kingston Nkhatha, Khama Billiat, Tapuwa Kapini, Vusa Nyoni, Terrence Mandaza, Ovidy Karuru, Mike Temwanjira.

Top Five Footballers: Willard Katsande, Quincy Antipas, Bradley Prichardt, Cuthbert Malajila and Washington Arubi.

FOOTBALLER OF THE SEASON: We leave the choice for the best player of the 2012/2013 season to the fans to make. You can make your choice - voting link coming soon.


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