Twiga Stars, JKT Queens players nominated for CAF Awards 2023

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JKT Queens players celebrating after victory over Atletico Abidjan in the CAF Women's Champions League

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Twiga Stars, JKT Queens, coach Esther Chaburuma, goalkeeper Najiat Abbas and midfielder Winfrida Gerald have been shortlisted in the CAF Awards 2023 nominees released by the continental football ruling body on Tuesday afternoon.

Twiga Stars have been nominated in the Women’s national team of the year category. The Senior women’s national team have enjoyed a good year under coach Bakari Shime. They are through to the third round of the Olympic Games qualifiers after eliminating Botswana.

They are still in contention to qualify for next year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. They overcame Ivory Coast in the second round. They will face Togo in the final round of qualifiers as they seek to return to the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 2011.

In the Women’s national team of the year award, Twiga Stars  will face competition from Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa and Morocco who were at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The other teams also in contention for the award are Ghana, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Burundi and Senegal.

JKT Queens together with seven others have been nominated for the Women’s Club of the Year award. This is after they won the CECAFA Qualifiers to book a ticket to the CAF Women’s Champions League.

Najiat has been nominated for the Best Goalkeeper award. Her exploits for both Twiga Stars and JKT Queens, as a result she is among ten players who have been nominated for the first-ever CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Chaburuma has received a nomination in the Women’s coach of the year for her success with JKT Queens.

Winfrida Gerald

Yet another JKT Queens player, Winfrida has been listed in the nominees for the Young Player of the Year award. The Young Player of the Year  award is limited to players not more than 21 years old.

The 15-year-old was top scorer in the 2023 CAF African Schools Championship helping Fountain Gate lift the continental title in South Africa. She was also on target in JKT Queens comeback win against hosts Atletico Abidjan in the CAF Women’s Champions League Group stage game last week.

To win the award, Winfrida will have to fend off opposition from the Ghana duo of Comfort Yeboah and Mary Amponsah as well as the Nigerian trio of Deborah Abiodun, Esther Ajakaye and Oluwatosin Demehin.

The lively winger  will also vie with Morocco’s Nesryne El Chad, Senegal’s Hapsatou Diallo, South African Thubelihle Shamase and Ugandan Fauzia Najjemba.

The winner of each category will be decided after votes from a voting panel consisting of CAF Technical Committee, media professionals from Member Associations, Head Coaches & Captains of Member Associations and clubs involved at the group stages of the Interclub competitions.

The Awards Gala is to be graced by the crème de la crème of African football on 11 December 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco.

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