CWC: Where are the last five Players of the Tournament?

The COSAFA Women’s Championship is a chance to showcase the incredible talent in the Southern African region by providing players with the platform to display their skill and perhaps move on to bigger things.
It is certainly a competition that has met its aim and when the 2021 edition is staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from September 15-26, we will see more stars born and the next generation of talent come to the fore.
We take a look back at the last five footballers to have won Player of the Tournament and where they are now in their careers.

It was a decade ago now that Van Wyk played for South Africa at the COSAFA Women’s Championship in Zimbabwe, where the home side came out on top with a 1-0 victory in the final.
But Van Wyk’s excellent performances in the heart of the Banyana Banyana defence won her the Player of the Tournament prize as South Africa conceded only two goals all competition long.
Van Wyk has developed into the international star many believed she would, having since captained her country at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and to a silver medal in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
She has also played at two Olympic Games and is the most capped player, male or female, in South Africa’s history having passed the 170-mark.
Off the pitch, she has also developed her own team, JVW FC, and is currently playing for Scottish champions Glasgow City. She also played previously in the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States with Houston Dash.    

South Africa returned to Zimbabwe for the 2017 edition after the competition had a six-year hiatus, and this time were crowned champions.
It was a speedy, skilful forward who caught the eye as Kgatlana tore up the pitch and fired Banyana to the title.
Since then she has continued her incredible rise, scoring a magnificent goal against Spain at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and continues to be a key part of the South African team.
She is currently playing for top Spanish side Atletico Madrid, having previously played for Houston Dash, Beijing BG Phoenix in China, Benfica in Portugal and Eibar in Spain.
She was also named CAF African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2018 among a host of individual awards. She is truly one of the special talents in the African game.

2018 – 
Cameroon were guests for the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay and brought their array of stars, which included brilliant midfielder Ngo.
They reached the final but came unstuck against South Africa in a thrilling contest that will live long in the memory for the quality of the football on display from both sides.
She has continued to shine and this past season was named the best player in the Israeli league, where she played for Maccabi Kiryat-Gat.

The 28-year-old led the team to the league and cup double and was recognised for her efforts, having also been the leading scorer for her team.

Zambia have never lifted the COSAFA Women’s Championship title but came mighty close in 2019 when they were edged 1-0 by South Africa in the final in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Mubanga contributed three goals to that cause, but it was her creativity that shone through as she laid chances on a plate for the life of 10-goal hero Racheal Nachula.
After that she went on to play in Spain for Zaragoza, and most recently was part of the Zambian side that shone at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
At just 26 years of age she still has plenty to give, though she was also the oldest of the Zambians in Japan. It was her goal against Cameroon that earned Zambia their place at the Games.

Magaia scored four goals at the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship as South Africa claimed a fourth title in succession, but was also at the heart of all the good work from the hosts.
She led the forward line superbly and proved a handful for all defences, creating opportunities for others with her intelligence and skill.
That performance won her a move to Moron in Sweden, where she has excelled this campaign with 10 goals in 13 starts as her side push for promotion.
The 26-year-old will be seeking to kick-on and will have an eye on helping Banyana to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.