Heavy South Africa Contingent among Nominees for the 2023 CAF Awards 

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is up for a top accolade at the CAF Awards which will take place on Monday 11 December 2024. The mentor is going for the Women’s Coach of the Year award and will be up against Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach, Jerry Tshabalala as well as former Morocco women’s national team coach, Reynald Pedros. Photo: SAFA on X

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis leads a distinguished list of South African Nominees up for a top accolade at the CAF Awards, taking place on Monday, 11 December 2023.

Ellis is shortlisted for the Women’s Coach of the Year award alongside Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach, Jerry Tshabalala, and former Morocco women’s national team coach, Reynald Pedros, after a successful year with Banyana, helping them make history as they became the first men’s or women’s national team to reach the knockouts of the FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup this year. 

This week Ellis and her team also secured their spot in the Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) with their 3-1 aggregate win over Burkina Faso on Monday, 4 December 2023 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium. South Africa will head to Morocco for the 2024 tournament, aiming to successfully defend the title they won in 2022.

The former Banyana captain has been more than instrumental in shaping the national team into the competitive side we see today. 

Ellis was elevated to the head coach position in 2016, though in an interim role, after then-coach Vera Pauw resigned. She was them made permanent in 2018 and since then she helped Banyana quality for their first ever Women’s Soccer World Cup in 2019 and followed it up with the WAFCON title win.

The team will also resume their bid to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics in February next year. Ellis has won the CAF Women’ Coach of the Year award three times and was also the recipient of the Coach of the Year award at the Momentum gsport Awards in September.

Moving on to Ellis’ competitors in the category … Speaking of Jerry Tshabalala, he has been letting his actions on the field do the talking. He has led Sundowns Ladies to their second treble win in three years, after they secured the Hollywoodbets Super League title on Wednesday, 6 December 2023. 

This follows on from their CAF Women’s Champions League win, where they didn’t concede a goal or lose a match during this season’s campaign. 

That result means that the Pretoria-based club has been in the final of the continental competition since they won it in the inaugural season in 2021. In September, Tshabalala and his team bagged the Cosafa Women’s Champions League to round off this season’s clean sweep. 

Morocco coach Pedros also made history with his team at this year’s World Cup, as the Atlas Lionesses reached the knockout stages for the first time. They also became the lowest-ranked nation to make it to the knockouts, in what was also their first-ever World Cup appearance. 

Women’s Football Nominations at the 2024 CAF Awards

Player of the Year

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria, Barcelona)
Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa, Racing Louisville)
Barbara Banda (Zambia, Shanghai Shengli)

Inter-Club Player of the Year

Refilwe Tholakele (Botswana, Mamelodi Sundowns)
Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco, AS FAR)
Lebohang Ramalepe (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Coach of the Year

Reynald Pedros (Morocco)
Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
Jerry Tshabalala (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Goalkeeper of the Year

Khadija Er-Rmichi (Morocco, AS FAR)
Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria, Paris FC)
Andile Dlamini (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Young Player of the Year

Comfort Yeboah (Ghana, Ampem Darkoa)
Nesryne El Chad (Morocco, Lille)
Deborah Abiodun (Nigeria, Pittsburgh Panthers)

National Team of the Year

Morocco
Nigeria
South Africa

Club of the Year

AS FAR (Morocco)
Sporting Casablanca (Morocco)
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)


Photo caption: Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is up for a top accolade at the CAF Awards which will take place on Monday 11 December 2024. The mentor is going for the Women’s Coach of the Year award and will be up against Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach, Jerry Tshabalala as well as former Morocco women’s national team coach, Reynald Pedros. Photo: SAFA on X

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Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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