Former Zimbabwe youth international Tino Benza has been named Herentals College Football Club’s Player of the Year.
The 21-year-old, who plays for his father’s club, enjoyed a good season, in which he helped his team reach the final of the Chibuku Super Cup.
He was also named among the 11 Castle Lager Soccer Stars of the Year.
Benza was the biggest winner as Herentals College Football Club rewarded their outstanding players at their annual awards held at Motor Action Sports Club on Thursday.
The rising star, who was honoured in absentia, also scooped the Chibuku Super Cup Top Goal Scorer, Most outstanding Player of the Year and the Supporter’s Player of the Year awards.
Herentals coach, Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva, was full of praise for the young player whom he said has a lot of potential to reach dizzy heights.
“I think Tino is doing well in terms of improving as a football player. He is hardworking and has got speed and is good at recovering lost position which many coaches like,” Mutiwekuziva said.
“It is good to be his coach and mentor; I wish to see him get far. The team did well as we fought relegation some few years back and with the addition of some experience players in Ali Masilelo, Godfrey Mukambi and John Zhuwao, among several others, the team did well. Our target is to be title contenders next year,” said Mutiwekuziva.
Herentals, who have teams in the Zimbabwe Women’s Soccer League, the Zifa Northern Region Division One, Division 2 as well as the Premier Soccer League had a very successful season as their teams excelled in their respective leagues.
The club’s women’s side Herentals Queens ended Black Rhinos Queens’ dominance by winning the Zimbabwe Women’s Soccer League, while their flagship team finished eighth in the Premier Soccer League in addition to finishing as runners-up in the Chibuku Super Cup.
Herentals also enjoyed success in the lower leagues with their Under-19 side finishing second behind Simba Bhora in the Northern Region Soccer League while the Division 2 side finished second behind Prisons FC, their Division One side.
Meanwhile, other players who were honoured during the awards ceremony include striker Brighton Majarira was named the players’ Player of the Year while defender Godfrey Mukambi and forward William Kapumha were named the most hard-working players.
The most consistent player of the year award was won by Prince Chama, while John Zhuwawo was the top goal scorer of the year.
Takudzwa Chikosi was named the most improved player while Luke Ruguchu got the Rookie of the Year award.
Takudzwa Chikosi won the goalkeeper of the year award while Tino Benza was named the overal player of the year, as well as the supporters’ player of the year.
Herentals FC president Innocent Benza, who continues to play in the domestic Premiership at the age of 50 said: “The awards are very significant for Herentals Group of Colleges, and Herentals Football Club. These are the biggest awards and they have set the tone for the 2023 season.
“From the professional side, we are expecting better results from the team next season. The Division 2 team finished second and we are expecting them to win it, the same goes for the Division One team. We are also expecting the Herentals Queens to retain their Women’s league title. As for our PSL team, we are giving them a challenge of a top 3 finish.”
Herentals Awards Categories
Most Outstanding Player of the Year: Tino Benza
Players player of the year: Brighton Majarira
Most Hardworking Player of the Year: William Kapumha and Godfrey Mukambi
Most Consistent Player of the Year: Prince Chama
Top Goal Scorer: John Zhuwawo
Most Disciplined Player: Peter Chota
Rookie of the Year Senior Team: Takudzwa Chikosi
Most Improved Player of the Year: Tafadzwa Jim
Supporter’s Player of the Year: Tino Benza
Rookie of the Year: Luke Ruguchu
Goalkeeper of the Year: Takudzwa Chikosi
Chibuku Top Goal Scorer: Tino Benza.