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15:30    28 Nov 2016

Wedson Nyirenda: Rainford Kalaba deserves CAF award ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns players

Zambia head coach Wedson Nyirenda has backed his captain Rainford Kalaba for the 2016 African Player of the Year Based in Africa award accolade.

The winger was instrumental for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) giants TP Mazembe in this year's CAF Confederation Cup finals.

Kalaba he scored two crucial goals in the second of the final to help his team win 5-2 on aggregate against Algeria's MO Bejaia and they clinched the title late last month.

As a result he is up against Mamelodi Sundowns quartet Khama Billiat, Keegan Dolly, Hlompho Kekana and Denis Onyango, who helped the South African side win this year's Caf Champions League title.

“It is exciting not only for me but for all Zambians. He has been a good player for us. He has been instrumental at TP Mazembe and also in the setup of the Zambia national team,” Nyirenda said on SuperSport.com.

“He deserves an award and we hope this time he can get something from Caf. As a coach who has seen him grow and passed through my me. I am so proud of the young man.

“He has many chances to get the award. Sundowns players, yes they too, but if you look at Kalaba he has been consistent for the last four to five years.”

Kalaba scored eight goals in the 2016 CAF Confederation Cup and he finished the tournament as the top goalscorer.

The winner of the accolade will be announced at the CAF awards gala on 5 January in Abuja, Nigeria.

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