Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
HE may not be the best player around, but it appears football awards love Dynamos forward Evans Katema.
The dreadlocked forward is featuring on the short-list of the best players for the fourth time in five years.
However, this is his first time in the Castle Lager Premiership.
Prior to his selection last week, Katema had featured three times in the second-tier ZIFA Northern Region Division One league between 2015 and 2018.
“I am quite ecstatic. It was a dream come true for me because every player in the domestic league strives to make it on the calendar,’’ he said.
“I have done it and it’s my first time in the PSL. I played most of my career in Division One and I have good memories.
“But then it counts for nothing when many people don’t notice.
“This time around, it’s huge, even if I don’t win the main award. I am grateful to the people who notice the talent in me. I am sure this will spur me to work even harder.’’
The dreadlocked forward won the 2015 Northern Region Soccer Star of the Year when he helped Ngezi Platinum get their promotion into to the top-flight league.
He played only one season in the Premiership and returned to the lower division after falling out of favour with then new Ngezi Platinum coach, Tonderai Ndiraya.
He was back on the podium with Mushowani in 2017 as one of the ZIFA Northern Region Division One 11 finalists.
Last year Katema was runner-up to Mushowani Stars teammate Clive Dzingai.
Katema played half the season with Mushowani and scored seven goals for them before Ndiraya convinced him to join him at Dynamos.
He has since taken his tally to 12 goals and has a chance to fight for the Golden Boot after leading scorer Clive Augusto left for South Africa on 14 goals.
“I think I did my best at Mushowani but then I had to join Dynamos because I wanted exposure.
“There were also (financial) challenges that we faced at Mushowani and I had to move on,” said Katema.
For the first time, he will be among the PSL Soccer Star of the Year finalists this Friday.
Organisers Delta Beverages are looking to deliver a perfect event, as they also mark the 50th anniversary of the Soccer Star awards ceremony which began in the 1969 season.
Beverages channel marketing executive, Irimayi Muzorewa, said their team were busy putting together the final touches.
“Preparations are shaping up. Of course, there are one or two things that we are still trying to tie down but we are almost good to go.
“We know it’s the 50th anniversary of the awards this year and we are taking that into cognisance in our preparations.
“Obviously, at this point I wouldn’t want to pre-empt what we are going to do this year,” said Muzorewa.
He added that Delta Beverages are looking to strengthen their marriage with football.
Delta Beverages have proved to be the all-weather friend of the domestic Premiership.
“Like we mentioned previously, we are going to renew our sponsorship deal with the PSL.
“Football is a platform where people from various walks of life come together to enjoy.
“The same passion that people have for football is the same that they have with Castle Lager.
“Football is the number one sport in the country, so is our Castle Lager brand,’’ said Muzorewa.
2019 Soccer Star of the Year finalists:
Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Evans Katema (Dynamos), Phineas Bamusi (CAPS United), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Wellington Taderera (Black Rhinos), Clive Augusto (formerly Chicken Inn), Joel Ngodzo (CAPS United), King Nadolo (TelOne), Ralph Kawondera (Triangle), Never Tigere (FC Platinum)