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Masandawana MEN and LADIES aim for AFRICAN EXCELLENCE with CAF Nominations Ronwen Williams Author: N.J HoveMasandwana's journey in 2023, marked by victories at home and on the continent, has been nothing but spectacular. As we approach the end of an extraordinary year, the grand stage awaits at the CAF Awards Gala on December 11 in Marrakech, Morocco. The buzz is real, celebrating not only the collective glory of Masandawana men’s and women’s honours but also the outstanding players who have set the football pitch on fire this year with breathtaking performances, amazing talent and sheer will. Having been nominated in the Club of the Year categories for both women and men, Masandwana’s dominance in both the men’s and women’s divisions is etched in the legacy of African football and the dream of winning both titles may just become a reality. Masandawana proudly leads the pack with the highest number of nominations among South African clubs in both men’s and women’s divisions.In a celebration of African football excellence, Peter Shalulile stands proudly among the African Football elite, securing a spot in the 30-man shortlist for the coveted Player of the Year award, alongside luminaries such as Victor Osimhen, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, and Percy Tau. A testament to his talent, Shalulile further vies for the Interclub Player of the Year, an award that captures the exceptional contributions of players playing club football on African soil. Goalkeeping brilliance finds representation in Masandawana’s Ronwen Williams, not only contending for Goalkeeper of the Year, facing stiff competition from giants like Andre Onana, Edouard Mendy, and Yassine Bounou, but earning a nod in the Inter-club Player of the year alongside Shalulile. The Goalkeeper of the Year award has been incorporated this year as CAF seeks to expand player recognition opportunities. After an impressive 5 clean sheets in 6 African Football league games with one goal conceded, Williams is following in the footsteps of the legendary “Yellow brick wall,” Dennis Onyango. After a heroic 2016 champions league campaign, Onyango went on to win the coveted Interclub Player of the Year award in 2017, becoming the first goalkeeper to win the award since its inception. Onyango was also honoured in the CAF 2017 African Finest XI, being the only player playing in Africa on the list, a pinnacle he achieved again in 2019. The accolades extend beyond individual brilliance, as the Men’s team secures a nomination for the Best Club award, a fitting tribute to their remarkable 2023 journey, both domestically and on the continental stage. Peter Shalulile In a groundbreaking year for South African women’s football, Sundowns Ladies were nominated for Club of the Year in the women’s category having won the award in 2022. Sundowns’ formidable shot-stopper Andile Dlamini stakes her claim for Player of the Year, standing alongside Banyana Banyana stars Thembi Kgatlana and Hilda Magaia. Dlamini’s exceptional skills also earn her dual nominations for Goalkeeper of the Year, where she competes with compatriot Kaylin Swart. The Interclub Player of the Year category features Sundowns’ Botswana international, Refilwe Tholakele, and dynamic attacker Lebogang Ramapele. Amidst this accolade-rich landscape, Coach Jerry stands tall among the nominees for Coach of the Year, after steering the team to unprecedented success on both domestic and continental fronts. South African women’s football revels in this extraordinary recognition. An incredible year continues for Women’s Football in South Africa. Lebohang Ramalepe Sundowns’ Nominations by Category Player of the Year (Men) Peter ShalulileInterclub Player of the Year (Men) Peter Shalulile Ronwen WilliamsGoalkeeper of the Year (Men) Ronwen WilliamsClub of the Year (Men) Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)Player of the Year (Women): Andile Dlamini Goalkeeper of the Year (Women): Andile DlaminiInterclub Player of the Year (Women): Refilwe Tholakele Lebohang Ramalepe Club of the Year (Women): Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)Coach of the Year (Women): Jerry Tshabalala
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