HARARE – The curtain falls down on the 2013 Castle Premiership in a fortnight time and on November 23 this season’s Soccer Star of the Year finalists will be announce.
While pundits will be busy selecting the best players on show in 2013, the Daily News on Sunday on the contrary looks at those who disappointed.
Below is the list of stars, who failed to live up to expectations.
Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)
Bosso fans would be the first to admit that this was a forgettable season for their former number one goal minder.
After a number of high profile errors last season, Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu was left with no option but to relegate his trusted glove man to the bench and the emergence and the consistent form of Munyaradzi Diya did not making it easy for Sibanda.
BENCH WARMER: Ariel Sibanda, centre, has had to watch most of Highlanders’ matches this season from the side lines after he lost his place in the starting XI to Munyaradzi Diya.
This season Sibanda has had to help Bosso’s title charge from the bench while making only a handful of appearances when Diya was away with the national team
For his experience with the national team it will only be fair that Sibanda skippers the Daily News’ 2013 Castle Premiership disappointing XI of the season.
Lawson Nkomo (Highlanders)
Nkomo was one of the most consistent players for the Bulawayo giants last season, but this season he has been a shadow of his former self.
He is failing to make it into the starting XI his team. Many would have expected him to build on the solid performances from last season but he has been a big let-down.
Nkomo comes in at right back, where he teams up with his Highlanders teammate Ariel Sibanda.
Ronald Pfumbidzai (CAPS United)
The CAPS United left back showed great potential in the opening five matches of the season and won the admiration of the Makepekepe faithful but Pfumbidzai failed to build on those solid performances as the season progressed.
His performances thus far has been disappointing in comparison to his early performances, perhaps parallels drawn from those performances to 2004 Soccer Star of the year, Cephas Chimedza got into his head and affected his all-round contribution to the Green Machine’s cause.
The former Hippo Valley defender comes in at left back for his lack of consistency.
Zephaniah Ngodzo (Chicken Inn)
After being signed by the late Adam Ndlovu at the beginning of the season, the former Bosso skipper was expected to bring experience and grit to the Gamecorks backline.
However, all has not been well for Zeph as he has had to live with a slot on the bench for most of the season as former coach Mandla Mpofu preferred national team defender Felix Chindungwe and Charles Mutero.
Much was expected from the versatile former national team player, who can also he can play as a fullback, but in this team he comes in as a centre half.
Blessing Zabula (CAPS United)
Whatever happened to the steely defender remains a mystery.
After being given his debut by CAPS United former Northern Irish coach Sean Connery last season, Zabula established himself in the Makepekepe defence.
But it seems that sparking form was reserved for his maiden season, and this year he has had to make his contribution either from the stands or the bench.
For the disappointing season, the man the United faithful call “Jah B” will have to partner Ngodzo at centre back.
Edmore Chapfungamoyo (ex-Tripple B)
The former Underhill and CAPS United defensive midfielder traced back to his home town of Beitbridge with Tripple B at the beginning of the season looking to discover his mojo after two frustrating seasons at United.
Chapfungamoyo was expected to be a leading figure at the newly promoted Tripple B, but he failed to make a telling impact at the now relegated side.
His Premiership experience by virtue of being a former captain at CAPS United proved less effective as he had to contend with a place on the bench before being shipped out during the mid-season transfer window.
Allan Gahadzikwa (FC Platinum)
The former Motor Action star player will join Chapfungamoyo on the right side of midfield for this year’s disappointing XI.
Much was expected from Gahadzikwa this season, especially considering that this is the same player who in 2011 was the second runner up to Soccer Star of the Year Washington Arubi.
A player of Gahadzikwa’s ability shouldn’t struggle to make the final squad, but this season the Kugona Kunenge Kudada faithful will hardly remember his contribution.
He has just been a big let-down for the platinum miners this season.
Josta Ngodzo (FC Platinum)
A $65 000 price tag on his back and he spends the entire season warming the FC Platinum bench, Ngodzo has all but failed to live up to the expectations that let his side to break the bank for his services.
Perhaps a befitting tag would be the premierships’ most expensive substitute; Josta joins teammate Gahadzikwa in an advanced attacking role that he used to occupy at Highlanders.
This season is forgettable again after struggling to make a telling impact in his maiden season, maybe the platinum miners are counting their losses after spending so much on the younger Ngodzo sibling.
Francisco Zekumabwire (Ex-Dynamos)
After the hype that was surrounded the big forward’s transfer from Hwange, much was expected from the striker but alas he managed only a handful of appearances before being released by Calisto Pasuwa in the mid-season transfer window.
A telling debut against Highlanders in the Bob 89 Cup, Dynamos fans christened the striker “Bance” after Burkina Faso striker Astride Bance perhaps in comparison with the ginger hairstyle, Zekumbawire was unfortunate with a spate of injuries coupled with a dramatic loss of form.
A disappointing season for a player, who formed a lethal partnership with Rodwell Chinyengetere at Hwange last season, the Warriors trialist leads the line for the disappointing XI.
Norman Maroto (Shabanie Mine)
This is hardly the man who was banging in goals for fun for 2009 league champions Gunners and persuaded the late Benjamin Moyo to bring him to Zvishavane for FC Platinum.
A spate of loan deals at Motor Action and currently Shabanie has failed to re-ignite Maroto’s career and he has done little to assist Luke Masomore’s ailing side out of their relegation woes.
He justifiably makes it into 2013’s Castle Premiership players of shame.
Evans Gwekwerere (Black Mambas)
An ill-advised move to Botswana from CAPS United towards the end of last season, spelled doom for the Mbare-born forward.
Gwekwerere joins Zekumbawire and Maroto in a 4-3-3 formation, following his lukewarm performances for the police outfit since he joined them in the mid-season transfer window.
Much was expected from the experienced forward but it seems he is spending more time in the stands carrying his small leather pouch rather than his soccer boots.
Coach: Friday Phiri
Being the first coach to be relieved of his duties this year, Amayenge, deserves to take the ‘honour: of leading this season’s disappointing lot.
The former Under 23 national coach was widely expected to do better but from the beginning of the season he never got it right, prompting his employers to part ways with him.