Football Sport

Kalaba deserves CAF award – Wedson

WEDSON

CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka
INTERIM national team coach Wedson Nyirenda says Chipolopolo skipper Rainford Kalaba deserves to win the 2016 African-player-of-the-year award for stars plying their trade on the continent following a stunning season.
Kalaba is one of the three players shortlisted for the accolade alongside South African side Mamelodi Sundowns’ duo of goalkeeper Dennis Onyango and midfielder Khama Biliat.
Nyirenda said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Kalaba has shown his prowess this year steering Democratic Republic of Congo outfit TP Mazembe to the Confederation Cup triumph.
He said Kalaba has put in 100 percent this year both for club and country.
Nyirenda said Onyango and Billiat also had an outstanding campaign but Kalaba is the favourite to grab the award.
“It’s great that he [Kalaba] is among the top three players that will compete for the award. It is an honour especially to me as well as the nation.
“He has worked hard in the past five years. I believe he will get the award and that is not a doubt because he deserves it. The chances for him to win it are very high,” he said.
Nyirenda urged the Chipolopolo midfielder to remain calm.
He said Kalaba’s nomination for the continental award will motivate others to work hard.
Kalaba guided Mazembe to win a maiden Confederation Cup title.
The 30-year-old netted eight times.
He scored twice in Mazembe’s 4-2 victory over Moulodia Bejaia of Algeria in the final return leg.
The Congolese giants won 5-2 on aggregate.
His rivals, Onyango and Billiat, equally had an outstanding season guiding Sundowns to the 2016 CAF Champions League triumph.
Billiat scored three goals and created two assists.
The winner will be unveiled during the CAF-GLO awards gala billed for January 5 in Abuja, Nigeria.

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