It’s a clean sweep. Acclaimed China-based women’s football star Tabitha Chawinga yesterday won all the four awards on offer in the annual Chinese Women’s Football Awards.
The awards were for the 2019 season, but were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 23-year-old Jiangsu Suning forward retained the Player of the Year, Superleague and Chinese Cup golden boots awards and, then, did it to perfection by bagging the Outstanding Player Award, which she missed out the previous season.
“I am so excited. Sweeping all awards is a rare thing and I give thanks and praises to my teammates because without them, I would not have achieved all this.
“Above all, glory be to Almighty God because He has always been wonderful to me. I owe all my success to him. To my club management, the fans and my family back home, I thank them for their support,” she said, in her trademark deep but enchanting voice.
The Malawi national football team captain said despite her success, she will not sit on her laurels.
“I will continue to work hard because once you lose the hunger then you are bound to lose the plot,” she said.
Tabitha described her second season in China as special.
“It was special because we also won the league title unlike the previous season when we finished as runners-up,” she said.
The Scorchers skipper said such awards are exceptional in that they give a player some bargaining power when negotiating for a deal.
Her current contract at Jiangsu Suning expires next year, but she said her first option will be her current club.
“There are a number of offers that have come up from top leagues in Europe and before I listen to their offers, I will have to consider my current club first.
“If we will not agree the terms or if they say they no longer need my services then it will be time to move on. But for now my focus is on the contract that I have,” she said.
Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu said the local soccer governing body is proud of Tabitha’s exploits “which surpass expectations”.
He said: “She is in a class of her own and we are very proud of her. Her achievements year-in, year-out, underscore that Malawi has abundant talent in women’s football and all they need is support.
“Tabitha has proven that she is one of the best players in the world. She is our shining star and a beacon of hope.”
Tabitha won the Chinese top-flight league with 13 goals and scored nine in the Chinese Cup last season
She was also made top five short list for the CAF African Woman Footballer of the Year Award and was named among the top 100 women football players in the world by leading United Kingdom publication, The Guardian.