Mulenga lifts CAF award

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On a night when Frederic Kanoute walked away with the Best Player, the Zambian midfield sensation put on a huge smile after lifting the prize for the best Under-23 African player.

Mulenga beat off competition from Ibara Franchel of the Congo Under-20 team and Nigerian Under-17 player Oseni Gani.

Making Mulenga’s award even more special is the fact that footballers from Southern Africa rarely get any recognition but the performance that he put at the Under-20 World Cup in Canada last year was enough to convince the selectors to present him with award.

By winning the award the 20 year-old is certain to attract the kind of attention that will take his career away from the modest First Division Inland Stream side, Tuks.

Despite being only 20 Mulenga has already been twice to the Nations Cup and got some game time as a substitute when Chipolopolo Boys walloped Sudan in their first group match.

The left-footed master has been at TUKS for the past four years though his stay has sandwiched a brief spell with Orgryte of Sweden.

Mulenga, who already has 15 senior team caps to his name, has already been compared to legendary Zambian Kalusha Bwalya who was also honoured on the same night as one of 10 best African players over the past 50 years.

Best Player of the Year - Frederic KanouteYoung Player of the Year - Clifford MulengaFemale Footballer of the Year - Cynthia Uwak of NigeriaInter-Club Player of the Year - Armine Chermiti (Etoile du Sahel)Coach of the Year - Yemi Tella (who died after leading Nigeria to the 2007 U-17 World Cup)Club of the Year - Etoile du SahelNational team of the Year - Ivory CoastBest Suppporters’ Club Ghana Supporters ClubBest Ten players of the last 50 years - Abedi Pele, Samuel Eto’o. Mahmoud El Khatib, Hossam Hassan, Roger Milla, Kalusha Bwalya, George Weah, Rabah Madjerm Didier Drogba and Nwankwo Kanu.