Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
THE Premier Soccer League’s evolution has been a journey full of twists and turns and the organisation will today take their Silver Jubilee milestone to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair where they will showcase the developments of the past 25 years.
The exhibition at the ZITF will kick-start the events that have been put in place to take the stakeholders down memory lane while opening up avenues for the transformation of the game in the future.
The Silver Jubilee celebrations will culminate in the crowning of the individuals and institutions that contributed to the growth of league football since 1993 when the modern league kicked off.
PSL communications and media liaison officer Kudzai Bare said they are also looking to use the stage at the ZITF to open the doors for business partnerships with corporate partners.
The Trade Fair starts today and will run for five days until Saturday.
“ZITF provides the league with an opportunity to broaden our presence as well as to meet and network with our various stakeholders and other participating organisations with the hope of forming business synergies.
“It also presents a stage for the exchange of ideas and knowledge about the business that can help grow our football. This is in line with our vision to boost all aspects of the sport and make it financially viable.
“Our exhibition stand will chronicle the history of the PSL journey since its establishment in 1992. We are looking to celebrate our silver jubilee with our fans through various activities, competitions and giveaways. The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League stand is in Hall 4B (24),” said Bare.
The Premiership has had its high moments with Delta Beverages proving to be the most loyal partner through their sponsorship of the league and knockout tournaments.
There were also times when things were hard with the game having to be played without any financial guarantees as what happened in 2010 when champions Motor Action walked away empty handed.
But amid the joys and troubles, the big three — CAPS United, Highlanders and Dynamos — have dominated the previous 25 years sharing between them 18 of the 23 titles.
Highlanders were the winners of the inaugural edition of the modern Premiership in 1993 and since then seven other clubs have had a hand on the coveted silverware.
Harare giants Dynamos are the most successful with eight titles in the bag followed by Highlanders who have six while CAPS United recently notched up a fourth championship.
Some clubs like Darryn T, Eiffel Flats, Ziscosteel, Mhangura, Fire Batteries, Tanganda, Black Aces, Shu-Shine and Zimbabwe Saints who were involved in the inaugural edition have sunk and almost forgotten.
Former Warriors striker Agent Sawu was the first to win the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Player of the Year award while turning out for Zimbabwe Saints in 1993.
A total of 22 different players have won the honour and Malawian Joseph Kamwendo holds the distinction of being the only foreign player to have won the Soccer Star of the Year award when he achieved the feat with Caps United in 2005.
There have also been individual brilliances with players such as Alois Bunjira, Thomas Makwasha, Zenzo Moyo, Chewe Mulenga, Evans Chikwaikwai and Leonard Tsipa among the Golden Boot winners during the period.
The league has also given birth to some of the best talents in the region, including some who went on to illuminate foreign leagues like Norman Mapeza, Tinashe Nengomasha, Costa Nhamoinesu, Takesure Chinyama, Noel Kaseke, Edward Sadomba, Vitalis Takawira and Energy Murambadoro.
The PSL are planning to honour the best performers who illuminated the stage in the past 25 years.