It was a huge moment tonight for Banyana Banyana in Dakar, Senegal – where forward (Chrestinah) Thembi Kgatlana took home two trophies – the CAF Goal of the Year and CAF Woman Player of the Year awards; and Head Coach Desiree Ellis was named the CAF Women’s National Team Coach of the Year 2018.
This is a historic win for Ellis, a former Banyana Banyana captain. She capped off a fine year after she made history in 2018 – she was the first person to win the COSAFA Women’s Championship as both player and coach, and she is also the first individual to qualify the South African Women’s National Team to the World Cup.
The South African Football Players Union said: “Congratulations to both Desiree Ellis & Thembi Kgatlana… Such moments make us proud as a nation & may you grow from strength to strength in the beautiful game. Now that you have it nobody can take it away from you✊🏾”
Thembi was the only person to win two awards Tuesday night, standing on stage amongst the best of the best in African football.
Her award for Goal of the Year came from the strike she took when Banyana Banyana defeated Nigeria 1-0 in their opening match of the 2018 Women’s AFCON held in Ghana in November. Watch here:
Thembi Kgatlana has won the CAF Goal of the Year for 2018 with this beauty… pic.twitter.com/L6xapAurDh
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) January 8, 2019
The goal also earned her the Player of the Match of Award – she went on to score four more goals to be crowned Player of the Tournament.
The Goal of the Year winner was decided via online public voting.
Kgatlana finished as the top goalscorer in the 2018 Women’s AFCON with five goals, where she also walked away with the Player of the Tournament accolade.
The pint-sized player was also a nominee for the African Player of the Year award in 2017.
The Houston Dash forward becomes the second South African to lift this trophy, following in the footsteps of fellow Banyana Banyana striker Noko Matlou in 2008.
Banyana Banyana go into a training camp on Wednesday, 9 January 2019 to kickstart preparations for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France scheduled for 7 June to 7 July.
The squad will be based in Cape Town where they will face the Netherlands and Sweden in two international friendly matches on Saturday, 19 January and Tuesday, 22 January respectively.
Both matches will the place at the Cape Town Stadium with a 15h00 and 19h00 kickoff.
Sources include SAFPU, Twitter/BanyanaBanyana and SAFA.net
CONGRATULATIONS to the legendary Desiree Ellis as well a legend in the making, Thembi Kgatlana 🎊🎉🎈🍾.
— Official PSL (@OfficialPSL) January 8, 2019
Wishing the best of luck to @Banyana_Banyana, coach @descaptain and @KgatlanaJnr11 at the #AiteoCAFAwards2018 tonight! It's your hard work and #Limitless drive that brought you to this moment! Let's bring it home! 👊 pic.twitter.com/IwxeFwrIkD
— Official SasolLeague (@SasolLeague) January 8, 2019
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 8, 2019
CONGRATULATIONS to @KgatlanaJnr11 for winning the Best African Goal of the year..! SOUTH AFRICA/ AFRICA STAND UP..!!
Finally women are claiming their rightful place in South AfricanFootball🇿🇦 . Hard work will always payoff..! pic.twitter.com/LhhuwLJMUQ
— Amanda toki Dlamini (@Amanda_Dlamini9) January 8, 2019
Imagine being Thembi @KgatlanaJnr11 🇿🇦 right now. The only person in Africa with 2 awards on that stage amongst the creme de la creme of African football; accompanied by the best coach in the continent Desiree Ellis! Bravo 🔥🔥🔥 #CAFAwards18 pic.twitter.com/oYFn9wffuv
— Coach Dukes (@produkes) January 8, 2019
It's 2 out of 2 for @KgatlanaJnr11 as she also takes the @CAF_Online 2018 Woman Player of the Year, after winning the CAF Goal of the Year award. Last year she came 2nd in the Player of the Year accolade @Banyana_Banyana @SAFA_net @SasolLeague @SasolSA pic.twitter.com/fxk0wU8cKe
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) January 8, 2019