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June 14, 2024
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Tau, Mokwena, Williams Clean Up COSAFA Awards

Bafana Bafana striker Percy Tau and Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena were big winners at the inaugural 2023 COSAFA Awards, a glittering gala ceremony held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday.

Tau scooped the COSAFA Men’s Player of the Year award after a stellar 2023 with Egyptian giants Al Ahly and the South African national team.

Sundowns dominated the night, with coach Mokwena named COSAFA Men’s Coach of the Year. This recognition follows their outstanding 2023, which saw them win a record-breaking sixth consecutive league title and the inaugural African Football League.

Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who earned the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award at the AFCON finals in Ivory Coast, was named COSAFA Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year.

Sundowns enjoyed a double win in the goalkeeping categories, with Andile Dlamini claiming the COSAFA Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year award. Her contribution helped the team achieve a domestic treble and continental glory in the CAF Women’s Champions League.

Adding to Sundowns’ impressive haul, their young star Thapelo Maseko secured the COSAFA Men’s Most Promising Player of the Year award, recognizing his achievements in 2023 as a player under 20.

Dr. Desiree Ellis, who led South Africa to a historic first-ever round of 16 appearance at the Women’s World Cup, received the COSAFA Women’s Coach of the Year award. This recognition builds upon her remarkable achievement of winning the last four CAF Women’s Coach of the Year awards.

Recently retired referee Victor Gomes received the Referee Legend award, a well-deserved recognition of his distinguished career.

The ceremony also honored outstanding individuals with Lifetime Achievement awards. Janine van Wyk, who became Africa’s most capped international player in 2023, received an award for her exceptional playing career. Fran Hilton-Smith was similarly recognized for her invaluable contributions to women’s football. Finally, legendary journalist and commentator Mark Gleeson, the “voice of African football,” was honored for his media service.

The player/coach and referee awards covered performances from January to December 2023.

COSAFA Executive Director Sue Destombes offered her congratulations: “We extend our congratulations to all the winners and express immense pride in their achievements, which bring honor to Southern Africa as a whole.”

Here’s a list of the other COSAFA Award winners:

*Women’s Player of the Year: Racheal Kundananji (Zambia) *Most Promising Player: Leticia Chinyamula (Ascent Academy & Malawi) *COSAFA Best Female Referee: Diana Chikotesha (Zambia) *COSAFA Most Promising Referee: Tsiaro Randriambololoma (Madagascar) *Lifetime Achievement in Services to Refereeing: Felix Tangawarima *Lifetime Achievement in Services to Coaching: Sunday Chidzambwa

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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