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Thembi Kgatlana targets African Women Player of the Year award

7:21 PM GMT+4 08/01/2019
Thembi Kgatlana
The forward is looking forward to make history for South Africa at the Caf Awards Gala in Dakar on Tuesday

South Africa women's Thembi Kgatlana says that 'it will be cherry on top' for her memorable 2018 if she clinches the Africa Women Player and Goal of the Year awards on Tuesday.

The Houston Dash star stood-out as she helped Banyana Banyana to a second place finish at the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana as her side qualified for their first ever to 2019 Women's World Cup.

At the showpiece, the 21-year-old claimed the top scorer award with five goals and was named the championship's Most Valuable Player after scooping four woman-of-the-match prizes.

She reveals her ambition to become the second South African to win the award after Noko Matlou in 2008 at the expense of Nigeria duo of Asisat Oshoala and Francisca Ordega.

''I think that it will be cherry on top winning the Africa Women Player of the Year award,'' Kgatlana told Goal.

''This is because South Africa have only won it once which was in 2008 and I will be happy to be the second player in history to do it for the country.

''The year 2018 has been a miraculous one for Banyana Banyana seeing what we achieved at the Cosafa and Awcon in Ghana. I believe that we could have more miracles in Dakar.''

Kgatlana further credited her impressive year to her teammates and coaching staff at club and country, while she upbeat of claiming the accolades amidst stiff competitions.

“I am speechless, I am over the moon just about the nomination – but as for two of them, I can only say that God is great,” she continued.

"After losing in 2017, I said back then that this was a good wake up call for me to work even harder, and now the results are there for all to see. The truth is, in both nominations, I am up against tough candidates.

"But I feel more confident going to the awards this time around, and I can only thank my teammates and the coaching staff for this feeling because football is a team sport.

"If it was not for them I would not have performed the way I did, and would not have received these nominations.

"I just hope I bring back something this time – but if I don’t, I will have to go back and work even harder until I bring it home.”