Nominees for COSAFA Women’s Most Promising Player Award unveiled


The nominees for the category of the Women’s Most Promising Player at the inaugural 2023 COSAFA Awards have been unveiled with a trio of future stars vying for the prize.

The winner will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Durban on April 19, with a panel of judges from across the region having assessed their performances for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2023.

The category is for players aged 20 or under in 2023 and covers their form for club and country. The three nominees are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Esther Banda (Green Buffaloes & Zambia) – Defender Banda had a breakthrough year in 2023, travelling to the Women’s World Cup, though she did not play, helping Zambia to the silver medal at the COSAFA Women’s Championship and scoring her first international goals in the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The 19-year-old is certainly on an upward trajectory and also helped Green Buffaloes to the semifinals of the COSAFA Women’s Champions League competition.

Leticia Chinyamula

Leticia Chinyamula (Ascent Academy & Malawi) – The 17-year-old midfielder was a key player for Malawi as they claimed a maiden success at the 2023 COSAFA Women’s Championship when they beat Zambia 2-1 in the final. She scored in the epic 4-3 win over hosts South Africa and in the 3-1 success against Madagascar in the pool stages. She started the final and put in an excellent display.

Rose Kadzere (Ascent Academy & Malawi) – Kadzere was another who shone as Malawi won the 2023 COSAFA Women’s Championship, despite being only 17 years of age. She got herself a goal in the 8-0 win over Eswatini and was steady throughout the campaign, playing in every match, including starting the final. She was previously leading scorer in the COSAFA Under-17 Women’s Championship in 2022 and continued that development through the year.

The judging panel from across the 14 member nations that make up COSAFA are renowned for their knowledge of Southern African football and are as follows:

Houssamidine Ben Ahmed (Comoros), Ivan Capuepue (Angola), Rob Delport (South Africa), Gerard Govinden (Seychelles), Peter Kanjere (Malawi), Jesse Kauraisa (Namibia), Kagiso Kgaogano (Botswana), Sibusiso Masilela (Eswatini), Sandra Mwila (Zambia), Boitelo Radebe (Lesotho), Heriniaina Samson (Madagascar), Benoit Thomas (Mauritius), Steve Vickers (Zimbabwe) and Raimundo Zandamela (Mozambique).



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