Black Starlets captain Eric Ayiah has been shortlisted for the 2017 Confederation of African Football (Caf) Awards scheduled to be held on January 4, 2018 in Accra.
The Charity Stars striker is in contention for the Youth Player of the Year Award. He faces contention from Mali’s Salam Giddou, Zambia’s Patson Daka, Senegal’s Krepin Diatta and South Africa’s Luther Singh.
Ghana’s U-20 women’s side, the Black Princesses, who are on the verge of making a fourth successive appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, have also been nominated for the Women’s National Team of the Year. They face competition from their Nigeria counterparts as well as the senior sides of Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Atsu, Partey out Atsu (L) and Partey (R) were in the initial 30-man list Ghana’s nominees for the flagship award of Caf Footballer of the Year, Christian Atsu and Thomas Partey, failed to make the 11-man shortlist released by the sport-governing body on the continent.
The shortlist was released after votes from members of the Caf Technical and Development Committee, Caf Media Experts and Independent Media and TV Consultants.
Among the shortlisted players are Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Senegal’s Sadio Mane, Guinea’s Naby Keita and Nigeria’s Victor Moses. The others are Burkina Faso’s Bertrand Traore, Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Morocco’s Karim El Ahmadi and Algeria’s Yacine Brahimi.
The rest are Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar and Uganda’s Denis Onyango, who is the only goalkeeper nominee and also the only one who plies his trade on the continent. He has also been named in a 10-man shortlist for the same award for players based in Africa.
In the list are Morocco’s Achraf Bencharki and Mohamed Ounnajem, both of Wydad Athletic Club, Egypt’s Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Tunisia’s Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly) and Taha Khenissi (Esperance), Burkina Faso’s Aristide Bance (El Masri) and DR Congo’s Ben Malango (TP Mazembe).
The rest are Nigeria’s Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly) and, surprisingly, New Zealand’s Jeremy Brockie (SuperSport).