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'She has been consistent' - Malawi's Mkandawire backs Chawinga to pip Oshoala & Nchout to Caf award

10:47 GMT 10/12/2019
Tabitha Chawinga - Jiangsu Suning
The Malawian excelled with Jiansgu Suning in the Chinese top flight, winning a quadruple and is in the race for the accolade.

Abel Mkandawire has backed Tabitha Chawinga to edge Asisat Oshoala, Thembi Kgatlana and Ajara Nchout to the 2019 African Women's Player of the Year following her exploits in China.

Chawinga has enjoyed unbelievable progress since sealing a first professional deal with the Swedish side Krokon/Dvarsatts in 2014 and became the first Malawian woman to move to Europe.

In 2015, she joined Kvarnsvedens and made in instant impact, emerging as Elitettan top scorer with 43 goals as they secured a maiden promotion to the Swedish Damallsvenskan.

In their maiden campaign in the Swedish top-flight, she helped her side retain their Damallsvenskan spot in 2016 and finished as the league's third-highest scorer with 15 goals.

The 23-year-old took her scoring form to another level as she claimed the top-flight golden boot with 26 goals in 2017 before she joined Chinese Women's Super League side Jiangsu Suning.

In her debut season in China, the Malawian registered 17 goals to emerge as the top scorer as Jiangsu finished as runners-up behind Oshoala's Dalian Quanjian in 2018.

In 2019, the 23-year-old retained the top scorer gong with 12 goals as she helped Jiangsu to win a first Chinese Women's Super League crown since 2009 and a quadruple of trophies overall, having scored 38 goals.

She further made history in Asia, scoring the first-ever goal of the inaugural AFC Women's Club Championship.

Following her amazing season at club level, the Malawi coach believes Chawinga stands a good chance to nick the prize.

"She (Chawinga) is technically and tactically very good," Mkandawire told Goal.

"She scores goals and creates chances for her teammates, makes the right decision at the right time, influences the game and her teammates behave correctly in victory and defeat.

"She also knows how to stop when running with the ball and move off again at speed, have the strength to hold off an opponent, good vision her mental strength is just superb in short she is a complete footballer and a leader in and off the pitch.

"She stands a very good chance for the [African Women's Player of the Year] award. Everyone who follows the women's game closely globally can attest to her fine performances in the last few years. 

"Her team grabbed all the trophies with her sensational display in China and scoring goals at a bigger stage and she has been consistent throughout the year."

Mkandawire will hope Chawinga's exploits in the last 12 months will see her win the African Women's Player of the Year prize at the Award Gala in Egypt on January 7.