A glance at the Namibian foreign legion

Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek – As activities in the country’s flagship football league, the Namibia Premiership (NPL) have come to a virtual standstill a dark cloud hangs over the immediate future of Namibian footballers who ply their trade in the stinking-rich South African Professional Soccer League (PSL).

With the exception of free-scoring striker Benson ‘Styles’ Shilongo, veteran goalpoacher Henrico Botes and purple-haired winger Deon Kavendjii-Hotto, the rest of the Namibian contingent are finding the going tough in the highly competitive PSL, Africa’s richest football league.

Doubtlessly Namibia’s most valued and influential footballer of his era, Wangu Batista Gome, has been left to kick his heels in frustration over his surprising lack of decent game time at his South African club Bidvest Wits University.

Meanwhile, utility defender Chris Katjiukua has been frozen out at Kwazulu/Natal outfit and Doc Hardley’s former club Lamontville Golden Arrows.

Brave Warriors’ leading shotstoppers Max ‘Slimkat’ Mbaeva and Virgil Vries also find themselves holed up in the same predicament as their compatriots, despite both having displayed good from at the beginning of the current term.

However, it is not all doom and gloom for the Namibians, with Denzil Haoseb, Ballack Somaeb and Junior Gebhardt having established themselves as regular starters in Jomo Cosmos’s promotion chasing side in the South African National First Division (NFD).

Former Brave Warriors, Eleven Arrows and Orlando Pirates (SA) livewire netbuster Rudolf Bester is finding himself in unfamiliar territory in South Africa’s third tier division after suffering back-to-back relegation with fallen Soweto giants Morroka Swallows from the PSL.

Another South African-based Namibian, former African Stars midfielder McBride ‘Jali’ Ndjavera seems to have resuscitated his wobbling football career with new club Mthatha City in South Africa’s third-tier division.

Gangling striker Kumbee Katjiteo has meanwhile cemented his place in the Botswana Defense Force (BDF) starting eleven and is currently the club’s leading goalscorer after some breathtaking displays since joining from Black Africa at the beginning of the season.

Burly Warriors defender Dacosta Angula, who had his contract prematurely terminated by his PSL club Free State Stars, is reportedly back home club-hunting, but the continued absence of organised football could force him to look elsewhere for greener pastures.

Elsewhere in the Far East, in Thailand the quartet of forgotten Brave Warriors Lazarus Kaimbi, Tangeni Shipahu, Sadney Uri-Khob and Awillo Stephanus are going unhindered about their business on the field of play in the fairly lucrative Thai Football League.

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