Shepolopolo coach Bruce Mwape is disappointed after losing out on the 2022 CAF Women’s Team Coach of the Year Award.
Mwape was beaten to the honour by Banyana-Banyana South Africa coach Desiree Ellis who took home the CAF Women’s Team Coach of the Year Award for a the third successive year.
Other losing contenders were Morocco coach Reynald Pedros who has just guided his team to the 2022 Women’s AFCON final on Saturday against South Africa.
South African Jerry Tshabalala who led Mamelodi Sundowns to the triumph in the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League last December in Egypt was the fourth contender.
“I missed out on that one but I don’t know why I actually missed out. I thought I had done a lot looking at what the other coaches have achieved,” Mwape said.
“I think I was the one who achieved something between this period of 2021 to 2022.”
During the period of interest between September 2021 to June 2022, Mwape oversaw Shepolopolo complete back-to-back WAFCON qualification for the first time both under his watch during the qualifiers that run from October 2021 to February 2022.
Last October, Shepolopolo also finished third at the 2021 COSAFA Women’s Cup where they beat Ellis’ team Banyana Banyana to finish third after a 4-3 post-match penalty playoff match.
Shepolopolo in February also beat Banyana 3-0 in a friendly played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
“I never expected that outcome and don’t know what criteria they used,” Mwape said.
“They say it is voting but voting sometimes is tricky so if people don’t vote for you in our region then you lose out.”
This was Mwape’s second successive CAF Awards heartbreak after Ellis again beat him to the 2018 accolade.
“Being amongst the top four also in one way or another is an achievements because they are so many teams in Africa and to get to that level it shows at least you have done something or as a team we have done something,” Mwape said.
And Mwape said he would also like to know how Nigerian striker Asista Oshoala took home the 2022 CAF Women’s Player of the Year despite an injury-plagued season during the period of interest.
Oshoala miss last February’s final round of the Morocco qualifiers against Cote d’Ivoire and did not even score for Nigeria in the two rounds of the 2022 WAFCON race.
Cameroon captain Ajara Njoya was the third player on the final shortlist.
“If you look at the player who won, she has been pout of action for some time and as far as I am concerned, Grace has done well during this period and I believe she deserved to be the winner,” Mwape said.
Grace was an integral part of Shepolopolo’s WAFCON qualifiers, that captain Barbara Banda even missed, and in which she scored one goal.