In the corridors of football the name Brian Isaacs carries the weight of reverence and adoration. He is arguably the most successful coach in the top tier of Namibian football, the man who ended Tigers sports club’s 30-year title drought.
When we meet him at his office at Windhoek Central Hospital, he is almost oblivious to any past achievements and brushes off any praise. Soft spoken and humble seems to be the opposite qualities of the man that demands nothing, but the absolute best from his players, but away from the touchline, Isaacs says his success cannot be but through his wife Anna.
The couple works together at the Ministry of Health and since 2006 he has known nothing else but Anna and football. “This is my own trophy. It is the real victory as a manager. Looking after my wife and family for ten uninterrupted years, through thick and thin, is the best victory ever. Of course it’s just a small battle, the war continues.”
Although not a keen football enthusiast by nature, Anna is always brave enough to watch a game of soccer with her husband. In turn, Brian goes through the torture of watching Telenovellas with her.
But it is not always football for coach Brian.
Brian is the youth leader of the Wesley Methodist Church and seeing over that group, he says is just as important as his group of title winners.
“I’m a man of faith. My faith is important to me. I cannot start a day without some quiet time with God. I pray and read my Bible and that is how I prepare myself for the day. I have a passion for children. I like to help the youth and that is what I try to do at the church and be a good influence to them,” he says pointing at a picture of his son, Gavin.
One of the few men who have coached all the national soccer team structures and top premier league clubs with success, Brian is a senior resources practitioner at the Ministry of Health. “What I learn at workshops at work, I take back to the team and vice versa and also to my youth at church. I have good inter-personal relationship skills and I think that is key.”
After winning the title a record four times with Black Africa between 2011 and 2014, he spent a year at SKW as the technical director. But the itch to manage persisted and even his family knew he was not satisfied. – usnamibia.com.na
Q’s A’s with Brian
Best Namibian footballer?
Which team were you supporting during the Euro 2016?
France, though I thought Germany would win it.
Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
Saddest moment of your coaching career?
Losing 4-0 to Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou. It was embarrassing.
Favourite European club?
Manchester United. (Louis van Gaal can go. He’s useless)
The most disciplined players you have ever coached?
Ricardo Mannetti, Colin Benjamin and Stanley ‘Tiger’ Goagoseb.