Sundowns dominate CAF awards nominations

‘Masandawana’ have four players vying for the African Player of the Year award and are expected to win the African Club of the Year award.

FILE: Mamelodi Sundowns' players celebrate after winning the CAF Champions League title. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - African champions Mamelodi Sundowns have dominated the list of nominations for the coveted African Player of the Year award, with four of their stars vying for the top honour for the footballer based in Africa.

Khama Billiat, Keagan Dolly, Hlompho Kekana and goalkeeper Dennis Onyango, the main characters’ in Sundowns’ fairytale will be looking to round off an incredible year by walking away with the prize.

The four superstars will be competing with Zambian and TZ Mazembe maestro Rainford Kalaba for the award, after he guided his club to the CAF Confederation Cup title.

Billiat, Dolly and Kekana are no strangers to challenging for high honours, as the trio battled it out for the 2015/2016 Premier Soccer League Footballer of the Year award in May this year – which Billiat walked away with.

Considering their success this year, one of the Sundowns players is expected to walk away with the award, which will be a first for a player in Southern Africa and for a club in Southern Africa to clinch it.

“Masandawana” are expected to win the African Club of the Year award, which will be the second time that a PSL club wins it, after Kaizer Chiefs in 2001, while Coach Pitso Mosimane is likely to be a favourite for African Coach of the Year.

The nominees for the overall African Player of the Year were also announced and those will be contested by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Borussia Dortmund, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Liverpool, Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez, both of Algeria and Leicester City as well as Mohamed Salah of Egypt at AS Roma.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)