In a year which promises a huge battle of wits among the coaches, Tonderai Ndiraya was the first to the podium after he was named Coach of the Month for April.
The former Dynamos forward was honoured for guiding the Mhondoro side to a flying start in this year’s campaign while young Bantu Rovers skipper Bukhosi Sibanda was voted the Player of the Month.
Ndiraya’s team was the earliest out of the blocks with three consecutive wins in their opening matches before newboys Yadah dented the perfect run when handing them their first defeat on the fourth outing. Ngezi Platinum went on to lose another match to Highlanders but they have since recovered and are currently second on the log standings behind ZPC Kariba who dislodged them yesterday.
The platinum miners were promoted to the Premiership last season and made an immediate impression after winning the Chibuku Super Cup with Ndiraya and representing Zimbabwe in the CAF Confederation Cup this year.
Highlanders’ Erol Akbay could have had a huge say on the Coach of the Month accolade in April after he finished the period on top of the table with the Bulawayo giants.
While Ndiraya went on to end on 10 points from six games, Akbay claimed a vital 1-0 win over Ndiraya’s Ngezi Platinum in the last game of the month to land on top of the table with 12 points and a game in hand.
There have also been some good returns for coaches such as Jairos Tapera of Yadah and Black Rhinos’ Stanford “Stix” M’tizwa. Bantu Rovers’ 19-year old Sibanda pocketed the player of the month award.
The Zimbabwe youth international has enjoyed sensational form and is currently the country’s leading goal scorer with seven goals.
Despite Bantu’s woes, he was the first player to score a hat-trick this year when he led the Bulawayo outfit to a 7-2 thrashing of Yadah Stars early this month at Luveve.
Tomorrow: Chapungu v Harare City (Ascot, 1pm), Tsholotsho v Bulawayo City (Dulivhadzimo), Bantu Rovers v Highlanders (Barbourfields), FC Platinum v Yadah (Maglas)
Sunday: Ngezi Platinum v ZPC Kariba (Baobab, 1pm), *Chicken Inn v CAPS United (Luveve), Dynamos v Shabanie Mine (NSS), Triangle v How Mine (Gibbo), Black Rhinos v Hwange (Morris Depot)
*ZIFA have ordered the PSL to postpone that match.