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SA’s coach Desiree Ellis wins big at the CAF Awards

BANYANA Banyana coach Desiree Ellis flew SA’s flag at the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Awards in Rabat, Morocco on Thursday night.

On a night where Senegal star Sadio Mané scooped Men’s Player of the year, Ellis received her third African Coach of the Year award. She beat strong competition from Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies’ Jerry Tshabalala.

Ellis’ previous wins of the prestigious award came in 2018 and 2019. Her win brought much-needed pride on a disappointing night for SA football.

With no Banyana Banyana player making the final three for the Women’s Player of the Year award, Andile Dlamini and Bambanani Mbane also lost the Inter-club Player of the Year award.

Ghana’s teenager Evelyn Badu of Sekondi Hasaacas Ladies pipped the two Banyana and Sundowns players for the prize.

However, Dlamini and Mbane’s Sundowns were named Caf’s Inter-club of the Year, beating competition from Ghana’s Hasaacas and Morocco’s AS FAR.

Banyana BaStyle were rewarded for their historic win of the maiden Caf Women’s Champions League, beating Hasaacas 2-0 in the final in Cairo in an unbeaten campaign.

The Champions League completed an impressive treble for Sundowns, who had won the domestic league in SA and the Cosafa Women’s Championship. 

For Dlamini and Mbane, Saturday night’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) final is an opportunity to win the top prize that matters. Banyana Banyana meet hosts Morocco with a shot at being African champions for the first time.

Should Banyana win the final that would cap an impressive stint as coach of the senior women’s national team for Ellis, who spent 15 months holding the job in the interim before she was named permanent head coach in 2018. 

Mané, who sat next to Ellis, won one of the two big awards of the night when he was named Player of the Year. He led Senegal to their maiden Africa Cup of Nations title in Cameroon earlier this year with a win against Egypt in the final.

Before moving to Bayern Munich his previous club, Liverpool, were 2021-2022 English Premier League and Uefa Champions League runners-up, and EFL Cup and FA Cup winners.

Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala was named the Women’s Player of the Year. She won the award for a record fifth time, becoming an all-time great in a career that has seen her dominate Africa with the Super Falcons and shine even brighter abroad in Barcelona and China previously.

Mané’s coach at the Lions of Teranga, Aliou Cissé, took home Coach of the Year in a good night for Senegal. Pape Ousmane Sakho pipped Malawi and Orlando Pirates’ Gabadinho Mhango to win Goal of the Season.

The Women’s National Team of the Year will be awarded after Saturday’s Wafcon final.

Full list of 2022 Caf Awards winners

Player of the Year (Men)

Sadio Mané (Senegal & Bayern Munich)

Player of the Year (Women)

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona)

Coach of the Year (Men)

Aliou Cissé (Senegal)

Coach of the Year (Women)

Desiree Ellis (SA)

Club of the Year (Women)

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies

Club of the Year (Men)

Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)

Inter-club Player of the Year (Women)

Evelyn Badu (Ghana & Sekondi Hasaacas Ladies/Alvaldsnes)

Inter-club Player of the Year (Men)

Mohamed El Shenawy (Egypt & Al-Ahly)

Young Player of the Year (Women)

Evelyn Badu (Ghana & Sekondi Hasaacas Ladies/Alvaldsnes)

Young Player of the Year (Men)

Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal & Tottenham Hotspur)

National Team of the Year (Men)

Senegal

Goal of the Year

Pape Ousmane Sakho (Senegal & Simba SC)

Image (CAF Coach of the Year –Women winner SA’s Desiree Ellis).

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