Three Nigerian youngsters nominated for CAF Young Player of the Year award

Three Nigerian youngsters nominated for CAF Young Player of the Year award
Credit: Icon Sport

The Nigerian trio of Tosin Demehin, Esther Ajakaye and Deborah Abiodun have been nominated for this year’s CAF Young Player of the Year award in the women’s category. 

The three Nigerians excelled with the Falconets in the year under review before going to make their debut with the women’s national team, Super Falcons.

It will be recalled that Africa's football governing body, Confederation of African Football (CAF), released a list of nominations for various categories about two weeks ago.

They have now gone ahead to name nominees for the remaining ones, which includes the CAF Young Player of the Year category. 

CAF Young Player of the Year Award – Full List of Nominees 

  1. Comfort Yeboah (Ghana)
  2. Mary Amponsah (Ghana)
  3. Nesryne El Chad (Morocco)
  4. Deborah Abiodun (Nigeria)
  5. Esther Ajakaye (Nigeria)
  6. Oluwatosin Demehin (Nigeria)
  7. Hapsatou Diallo (Senegal)
  8. Thubelihle Shamse (South Africa)
  9. Winifreda Gerald (Tanzania)
  10. Fauzia Najjemba (Uganda) 

Official statement on the 2023 CAF Awards

According to the statement, “A panel of CAF Technical Experts, African Football Legends, and selected media representatives from a number of countries put together the preliminary list for the various categories with the performance of the nominees between November 2022 and September 2023 serving as the period under consideration.

“Thirty (30) players made the cut for the top prize; CAF African Player of the Year, whilst 20 players have been nominated for the CAF Interclub Player of the Year.

Coach of the Year, CAF National Team of the Year and Club of the Year have ten (10) nominees each just as CAF Young Player of the Year – for players under the age of 21.

“For the first time, CAF has introduced the CAF African Goalkeeper of the Year Category (Men and Women) in the prestigious event that seeks to reward and celebrate exceptional Players, Officials and Administrators during the period under review.

“It will be the first time that shot stoppers will be acknowledged for their performances, further expanding the network of winners for the annual event. 10 players have been nominated for the novel award.

CAF also stressed that the ultimate winner of each category will be decided after votes from a voting panel consisting of the CAF Technical Committee, media professionals, Head Coaches and captains of Member Associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the Interclub competitions.

Evelyn Badu of Ghana won the Women’s Young Player of the Year award in 2022 and one of the Nigerians will be hoping to clinch the award this time around.

Meanwhile, CAF also announced that the Gala awards will be held on December 11, 2023, in Marrakech, Morocco.

Well deserved nominations

Deborah, with the rest of the U20 national women's team had an unforgettable World Cup tournament where they won bronze and that earned her a move to the USA.

She was also drafted into the Super Falcons team for the global event in Australia and New Zealand where she was sent off in the opening game against Canada. 

Demehin also excelled with the U20 side and was rightly drafted in for the World Cup with the Super Falcons. The centre-back impressed at the heart of the defence to help the Nigerian women's side reach the second round.

On the other hand, Ajakaye led the line for the Falconets team at the World Cup as she was named player of the match twice in the bronze-winning run. She was also named the most valuable player at the WAFU tournament in Ghana. 

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

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