Sundowns stand in line for top honours
Sundowns are nominated in the Club of the Year in Thursday’s Confederation of African Football awards
Pitso Mosimane‚ Khama Billiat and Denis Onyango will all be heading to Nigeria on Wednesday for Thursday’s Confederation of African Football awards in Abuja, where Mamelodi Sundowns are expected to feature among the winners after a brilliant 2016.
Mosimane is one of the five nominees for the Coach of the Year award, while Onyango and Billiat are battling each other for the award for the best home-based African player.
Keegan Dolly and Hlompho Kekana did not make the final trio of finalists after featuring in the last five for the African Player of the Year award.
Sundowns are nominated in the Club of the Year category for which they are hot favourites.
Mosimane goes up against Uganda coach Mulitin "Micho" Sredojevic, the former Orlando Pirates boss‚ Democratic Republic of Congo coach Florent Ibenge‚ Algeria club Mouloudia Bejaia’s Nacer Sandjak and Florence Omagbemi‚ who took Nigeria’s women team to the African title recently.
Billiat will be leaving Zimbabwe’s training for the Nations Cup to make the quick trip to Nigeria. The striker only joined the rest of his countrymen on Monday, testing the patience of the Zimbabwe coaching staff and fans.
In terms of Fifa regulations‚ Billiat was supposed to report to the camp only a fortnight before Zimbabwe’s first game at the tournament in Gabon and he kept strictly to these rules despite Zimbabwe wanting him to join their preparations earlier.
Meanwhile, Sadio Mane believes he is leaving Liverpool in good shape as he prepares to spearhead Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations challenge.
The 24-year-old — whose goal against Sunderland on Monday was his ninth for Liverpool — says the squad are strong enough to make up for him playing at African football’s showpiece event.