Grace CHingoma Sports Reporter
NGEZI Platinum defender Qadr Amini has described the just-ended season as very special after he was voted the club’s Players’ Player of the Year in a term in which he made it among the Castle Lager Soccer Stars finalists. It was the first time the talented defender was voted the best player at a club as well as being selected on the Soccer Stars calendar. Indeed, it has been a fruitful year for the versatile player, who at one time thought his career had prematurely ended because of recurrent injuries.
The fact that he was able to overcome all those challenges and made a comeback after spending the entire 2013 season on the sidelines with a muscle tear, makes it remarkable for the former Young Warriors skipper. He played half of the season in 2014, but the former Prince Edward pupil managed to make a strong comeback this season, playing under the coach of his youth, Tonderayi Ndiraya, who had previously coached him at high school.
Amini owes a lot to his mentor, who helped him pick up the pieces by giving him another chance. “For a moment I thought it was over. I was struggling with a muscle tear. But my wife and family kept me going. The coach also had faith in me and helped me when everyone had written me off. When you are injury prone, most coaches here lose confidence and it’s not easy to get a recommendation.
“But I am glad that I have proved to him that I am still worth my salt, I played for him too this season,” said Amini. When some of his older teammates at former Premiership champions Gunners, such as Carlington Nyadombo and Willard Katsande began to reap the rewards after a successful adventure with the club in 2009, it was a different story for Amini.
His move to FC Platinum was plagued by injuries. He was linked with a move to South Africa, but all that crumbled and his hopes faded. In 2015, he packed his bags to return to the capital, where he revived his career with Dynamos. The flashes of brilliance were there, but clearly he was no longer the same roving defender who thrived at Gunners. Ndiraya then gave him a chance at Ngezi and none of them regret it.
Now Amini wants to remain committed to the Mhondoro side. “I am super excited to receive this prize. It is my first time to be the Player of the Year at a club and also on the soccer stars calendar. This is due to hard work which was put in by my team mates and alone, I could not have achieved this. “Quite honestly, I wasn’t expecting to win this award. I will remain at Ngezi for the next season,” he said.
As Amini paid tribute to Ndiraya, another DeMbare product Tichaona Mabvura, who is also enjoying a restorative spell at Ngezi, saluted the coach. Mabvura won the Player’s Player of the Year and also picked the Most Improved Player Award. “I am so excited. It was a great season and I give thanks to all the players, we worked together and achieved a lot. I would like to thank all my coaches for guiding me,’’ said Mabvura.