Rulani Mokwena lauds Mamelodi Sundowns duo for CAF awards

Rulani Mokwena lauds Mamelodi Sundowns duo for CAF awards

With two Mamelodi Sundowns players making the shortlist for the upcoming 2023 CAF awards, coach Rulani Mokwena says this is another prime example of the work behind the scenes.

Namibian international and Downs striker Peter Shalulile has been nominated in the overall Player of the Year category and appears in the continental interclub group as well, while Ronwen Williams has been considered for the best goalkeeper accolade as a result of his form for both club and country. 

READ: Bold Rulani Mokwena says Mamelodi Sundowns clinched Al Ahly tie at Loftus

According to CAF, a panel of technical experts, African football legends and selected media put together the list based on the players’ performances between November last year and September 2023. 

Senegal megastar and ex-Liverpool as well as Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane is the reigning Player of the Year. 

Mokwena reflected on the announcement confirming Shalulile and Williams as candidates, while Sundowns are also up for the Club of the Year gong. 

“I just want to take this opportunity to congratulate Sundowns for their nomination, but also to single out Ronwen Williams and Peter Shalulile for their various nominations – it’s a reflection of the hard work that everybody is putting in at the club,” the coach, who is preparing for the first leg of the inaugural African Football League [AFL] against Wydad Casablanca on Sunday, said. 

The awards will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco on December 11 to celebrate the biggest stars on the African continent.

Sundowns will hope they approach that event as title holders of the AFL with the second leg against Wydad played a month earlier at Loftus Stadium on the back of beating Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

It’s another performance Mokwena highlighted as another one that proves the Brazilians are a powerhouse on the continent. 

“When you play Al Ahly in front of 50 000 fans you are going to suffer a lot without the ball – so in those moments, we asked our players to stick together. We knew we would get our moments, and that is why I want to give so much credit to the players for an unbelievable fight and showing great character,” he explained.