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SAUL Chaminuka had a feather put in his cap after he was named the 2014 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League coach of the Year last Friday for taking the Premiership campaign to the wire. I am sure Chaminuka should be surprised with this award and will be remembered as the Coach of the Year who failed to win the title and had the top three players in domestic football with Dennis Dauda, scooping the top gong, and Limited Chikafa and Tendai Hove as the first and second runners-up.

The Castle Premiership awards are designed for players, coaches and referees who excel in the Premiership race.

The players should play at least for 15 matches for them to be eligible for voting and this does not include the Cup matches although success here gives the coach bargaining power.

And for one to be rewarded, he should have risen head and shoulder above the rest in the Castle Lager Premiership campaign and national team matches do not count as well.

It boggles the mind how Chaminuka would scoop the big prize ahead of Calisto Pasuwa who landed the league title for the fourth consecutive time.

Chaminuka has nothing to show for in the 2014 season, except finishing second to Dynamos with 56 points in the bag from 30 outings against DeMbare’s 57 points from the same number of matches.

He did not win any Cups this season — the Chibuku Super Cup and One Wallet tournaments.

That is how Chaminuka ran the race in the league campaign and it’s surprising that he was awarded the Coach of the Year or, maybe, he is being rewarded for making reigning champions Dynamos sweat for the league title until the last day.

Pasuwa deserves to be given the Coach of Year award for leading DeMbare to their league title this season.

The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League should have at least gone a step further by giving Pasuwa a special award for scooping four league titles on the trot.

What should Pasuwa have done to win the Coach of the Year award?

Win the league — he did that.

Win Cups — he won three of them.

It would have been understandable if Chaminuka was awarded the Coach of the Month in August for leading his ZPC Kariba to 19 unbeaten games in the league.

But for a coach to be voted the best in the country, for a whole season, for giving Dynamos a run for their money, is making a mockery of the awards.

And Castle Lager should seriously have a look at these awards as they are sinking into the deep black hole each year with questionable awards being given to undeserving individuals.

Taking the league title to the wire against Dynamos should not be yardstick that should be used for someone to win the Coach of the Year.

You are tempted to think that selectors conspired not to give the Coach of the Year award to Pasuwa in his history-making year.

You get a feeling that the word in the corridors was “surely guys we cannot give everything to Dynamos, lets spread the awards”.

I think it’s high time our football looks beyond team colours.

The Coach of the Year gaffe comes after another blunder last year when the selectors chose the Harare City coach Bigboy Mawiwi ahead of Pasuwa who won the league title.

Mawiwi’s Harare City finished in third place but he won the Coach of the Year ahead of Pasuwa.

FIFA have just announced the three finalists for the 2014 FIFA World Coach of the Year for men’s football.

The coaches who have made the final three-man shortlist are Italy’s Carlo Ancelloti (winner of the Uefa Champions League), Germany’s Joachim Loew (winner of the World Cup) and Argentina’s Diego Simeone (winner of the Spanish La Liga).

Ancelloti won the Copa de Rey and secured Real Madrid’s tenth Uefa Champions League title.

Loew was recognised for reaching the summit of world football after leading Germany to a deserved triumph at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

Simeone took Atletico Madrid to their first La Liga title in 18 years.

There is a school of thought that Chaminuka and his ZPC Kariba defied odds by playing their “home matches” at adopted Gwanzura.

This point is not valid because ZPC Kariba were not forced to use Gwanzura but should have ensured that Nyamhunga should have met PSL standards to be their home ground.

Every Premiership team is given the prerogative of choosing their home ground, and an alternative one, before the start of the season and surely playing at an “adopted home” should be the reason why Chaminuka should be given the Coach of the Year.

And neither is there scientific evidence that the squad was composed of very average players as each Premier Soccer League club is required to register 30 players with the PSL each season.

In any case three of his players were deemed the best in the league.

The statistics are in favour of Pasuwa and against of Chaminuka.

Should we raise our glasses for the Blunder of the Year?

Fanuel Viriri is a three-time award winning journalist with over 15 years media experience. He is the founding Editor of Gemazo Blitz and Gemazo Magazine.

Source : The Herald

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