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CAF nominations for Banyana, Ellis, Van Wyk and Kgatlana

The announcement of the nominations comes just a day before Banyana Banyana faces Nigeria in the final of the 2018 Women’s Afcon.

Banyana Banyana celebrate a goal. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The accolades and recognition continue for Banyana Banyana after they were nominated in three categories at the CAF Awards 2018.

The announcement of the nominations comes just a day before they face Nigeria in the final of the 2018 Women’s Afcon. The match will take place on 1 December at the Accra Sports Stadium in Ghana. Both nations have already secured their place at the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France.

Captain of the South African senior women’s national team, Janine van Wyk, has been nominated alongside star striker Thembi Kgatlana in the African Women’s Player of the Year categories.

Kgatlana is the current leading goal scorer in the 2018 Women’s Afcon and has already scored five goals in four matches and won three consecutive Woman of the Match accolades. She was also a nominee in the same category last year.

Van Wyk, who has led Banyana Banyana to the World Cup qualification as captain, also returns for the second bite at the cherry in this award as she was nominated in 2016. She was recently named in the CAF top players for the 2018 Women’s Afcon.

After going through a golden period in the last year or two, South Africa has again been nominated in the CAF Women’s National Team of Year, an award they won early this year.

Banyana Banyana have won back-to-back Cosafa Women’s Championship, qualified for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup for the first time in their history and also making the final of the 2018 Women’s Afcon in their 12th appearance in the tournament - they made the final in 2000, 2008, 2012.

Banyana Banyana will battle it out with Cameroon (2018 Women’s Afcon semi-finalists), Ghana, Mali (2018 Women’s Afcon semi-finalists) and Nigeria (2018 Women’s Afcon finalists)

Leading the team through during these times is coach Desiree Ellis, her efforts have not gone unnoticed after she was nominated in the Coach of the Year category. Ellis is the only person to win the Cosafa Women’s Championship as both player and coach.

The former Banyana Banyana captain is also the first person to qualify the South African senior women’s national team to a Fifa World Cup. She now stands on brink of writing more history should Banyana Banyana win their first ever Women’s Afcon title.

The awards gala will be held on 8 January 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.