For his heroic performances in a year in which his team won the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title and the biggest knockout tournament, the Mbada Diamonds Cup, the national team second choice goalkeeper came first ahead of Tafadzwa Dube who took home $3 000 and third placed Alan Gahadzikwa who was rewarded with $2 000.
Arubi also bagged an extra $2 000 for being named the country’s most outstanding goalkeeper in the soccer season just gone by.
Arubi becomes the third goalkeeper since the award was introduced in 1969 to take the title home. He follows in the footsteps of another Dynamos goalkeeper Japhet Mparutsa who won the award in 1982 and Energy Murambadoro who won the contest in CAPS United’s colours in 2003.
The other finalists in the Castle Soccer Star of the Year competition George Magariro of Dynamos, Tapuwa Khumbuyani of CAPS United, Cliff Sekete of Gunners, Donald Ngoma of FC Platinum, Rahman Kutsanzira and Graham Ncube of Highlanders, Abas Amidu of Black Mambas and Nkosana Siwela of Hwange received a $1000 each for making it to the final.
The awards ceremony which brought the curtain down on the Castle Lager Premiership programme also saw Hwange’s Tennant Chilumba being crowned the coach of the year. He was duly rewarded for taking lowly Hwange to fourth position in the league title race and got a $3 500.
Another Dynamos player, Roderick Mutuma who finished as the league’stop scorer albeit with a paltry 14 goals received $3 000 in a competition whose winner was decided long back.
Although the referee of the year Batsirai Muchenje was also rewarded with $2 000 and the runners up in the category Tione Kacheche getting $1 500 and Bongani Gahadzikwa pocketing $1 000 there was general belief that the award should not have been presented at all following the allegations of corruption that has rocked the referees sector.
There were prizes too for Dynamos’s Denver Mukamba who took home $2000 for being judged the Rookie of the Year.
Hwange got $10 000 for being named the most disciplined team of the year which gives them a total of $36 000 for the season after the $26 000 they got for finishing fourth in the league title race.
The night, though, belonged to Arubi, the super De Mbare goalkeeper.