Namibian players were the big winners in the individual awards for the COSAFA Cup 2015 after they helped their nation to a first ever regional crown.
The Brave Warriors came through six matches to claim first place in the showpiece tournament when they defeated Mozambique 2-0 in the final on Saturday.
It was a tough choice for the COSAFA Cup Technical Committee to choose their individual prize-winners, but few can argue that their picks excelled and were instrumental in the success of Ricardo Mannetti’s side.
Namibia midfielder Wangu Gome was named Player of the Tournament for the huge amount of work he put into both the attacking and defensive play of his side.
Nicknamed ‘Batista, he plays for Civics in the Namibia Premier League, but his performances in the COSAFA Cup have certainly seen many take notice of his quality.
He played the same role as Mannetti, who had a highly successful career as a box-to-box midfielder and so understands the special qualities needed to fill the position.
“The role that coach Mannetti gave me is box-to-box,” Gome told reporters. “It’s not an easy role to play. He played it too, even though I didn’t watch much of him doing it for Namibia. I only saw him late on in his career.
“It requires a lot of hard work but he is teaching me when and how to attack.”
Gome’s teammate Virgil Vries deservedly won Goalkeeper of the Tournament for his outstanding displays that were a continuation of his fine season for Maritzburg United in the South African PSL.
Vries played in every game for Namibia and with the team under pressure at time, made some superb saves, as well as being a leader of the defensive unit.
Madagascar forward Sarivahy Vombola won the Golden Boot prize for his five goals in the competition, which was one ahead of the namibia duo of Benson Mhlongo and Deon Hotto.
The Fair Play prize went to Madagascar, who played the game in an excellent spirit through their six matches, but also showed the willingness to play enterprising and attacking football.
They eventually finished with the bronze medal.