Mixed fortunes for scorchers

Mixed fortunes for scorchers

It was a night of mixed fortunes for the Scorchers at the inaugural Cosafa Awards as just one of the four Malawian nominees won an award while three others, including captain Tabitha Chawinga missed the boat.

Forward Leticia Chinyamula of Ascent Academy in Lilongwe won the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Most Promising Female Player Award during the gala in Sandton, South Africa.

Leticia (L) receives the award from Amanda Dlamini

On the other hand, Tabitha, currently on loan to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Women, missed out on the Women’s Player of the Year Award won by Zambian Racheal Kundananji.

Malawi National Women’s Football Team goalkeeper Mercy Sikelo lost the Goalkeeper of the Year Award won by Andile Dlamin of South Africa.

To claim the prize Leticia, 17, outclassed her compatriot Rose Kabzere and Zambian Esther Banda.

During a ceremony monitored on Cosafa television, Leticia was at a loss for words on her achievement which she attributed to hard work and her coach’s advice.

 Ascent Academy coach Thom Nkorongo said Leticia’s award will motivate other up-and-coming women’s football players to work hard.

He said: “It’s very good for the team and it’s a very good motivation to some of the girls in the squad. She is a girl who has improved a lot.”

Leticia was a key player for Malawi as they claimed their maiden Cosafa Women’s Championship when they beat Zambia 2-1 in the final in October.

She scored in the epic 4-3 win over hosts South Africa and in the 3-1 success against Madagascar in the pool stages.

Leticia also started in the final against Zambia and put in an excellent display.

Kabzere, on the other hand, got the nomination having shone in Malawi’s 8-0 win over E-swatini and was steady throughout the campaign, playing in every match, including starting in the final.

Zambia’s Esther  Banda got the nomination for being part of Zambia squad at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, though she did not play and also helped the Shepolopolo to the silver medal at the Cosafa Women’s Championship.

In other awards, Zambia’s Diana Chikotesha won Best Female Referee while Best Male Referee went to Jerson Dos Santos of (Angola).

Men’s Most Promising Player Award went to Thapelo Maseko (South Africa) while Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year went to Ronwen Williams (South Africa).

South Africa Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis was named  Women’s Coach of the Year while Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena (South Africa) was named Men’s Coach of the ear.

The judging panel from across the 14 member nations that make up Cosafa  included Malawian journalist  Peter Kanjere.

The post Mixed fortunes for scorchers first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Mixed fortunes for scorchers appeared first on Nation Online.