Friday, February 23 2018 | NEW ERA SPORT 43 For any juicy news tips from your respective clubs, contact New Era Sport’s editor: Carlos Kambaekwa at 081 128 3788 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org See story AFRICAN STARS The Reds kicked off their second-round league campaign to a somewhat patchy start when proceedings resumed last week. Starlile could only manage a disappointing tally of two points from a possible six against title rivals Orlando Pirates and league returnees Life Fighters after a welldeserved mini breather during the months of December and January. The Katutura glamour football club has come up with a new strategy in an effort to lure more fans to their home matches by providing live music entertainment and, according to club chief administrator Ta-Les Kozonguizi, the musical extravaganza trial proved a big hit among the VIP guests in their mid-week clash against the Ghosts. BLACK AFRICA Murmurs of discontent can be heard from Hepworths Arcade in the City Centre Building, as disgruntled fans are baying for the blood of newly appointed head coach Lucky “Bazooka” Richter following the Gemengde outfit’s lukewarm showing against league strugglers Young Chiefs. The contest ended in a disappointing 1-all draw for the dethroned four-time league champions – leaving them with a definite doable seven points off the pace. BLUE WATERS Former Birds’ speedy striker Aupapa “Bazooka” Shipanga, has been installed as the new technical advisor at Netball Namibia with the ultimate mandate to revive the ailing fortunes of the once blossoming sporting discipline. The ladies game has taken a worrisome slippery journey ever since the team’s last appearance at the World Championships in Birmingham, England, UK, in 1995. Shipanga, who has previously represented his adopted country Swaziland at international level before Namibia gained Independence from apartheid South Africa in 1990, is a noted sports administrator and brings loads of expertise to the troubled ladies game. CHIEF SANTOS Barring a miracle, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs could make an unwanted quick retreat to the lower division. The orange and green-stripped outfit has been struggling to make their presence felt in the tough and demanding rigours of top-flight league football. Santos are mired dangerously in the relegation zone and if recent results are anything to go by, it will take a Herculean act to stave off the dreaded relegation axe that has been hovering dangerously over the Nomtsoub outfit’s head since their return to top-flight football at the beginning of this season. CITIZENS Heavy back-to-back defeats in last weekend’s action have left the Citizens in a precarious position with the prospects of staring relegation in the face ahead of a mammoth 13 rounds of matches still on offer. Lack of resources is preventing the Citizens from attracting decent players to their stable but club honcho Dawid Goagoseb remains adamant his youthful brigade will not slip to the lower division, at least not for the time being. CIVICS The Civilians are still a work-in-progress and multiple league title-winning mentor Brian “Oubaas” Isaacs, is building a team for the foreseeable future. The maroon and whitestripped Khomasdal outfit is languishing in an uncommon mid-table position but with a coach of Isaacs’ impeccable pedigree at the helm – club diehards must just chill and stop having sleepless nights, because the Mighty Civilians will remain part and parcel of the Namibia Premier League family, at least for many years to come. ELEVEN ARROWS In a rare occurrence, the habitually inconsistent Kuisebmond outfit has recorded a morale-boosting win over Rundu Chiefs (2-0) followed by 2-all stalemate against Mighty Gunners that slightly moved the coastal side up to a respectable mid-table position on the MTC Premiership log table. The presence of discarded Brave Warriors striker Rudolf “Magic Feet” Bester is just what the good doctor has ordered for the Atlantic Oceaners. LIFE FIGHTERS “Okahirona” came out unscathed from a decade-long traditional derby against old foes and incumbent table toppers African Stars in an ill-tempered MTC Premiership clash of the titans in Windhoek, last weekend. The visitors managed, against all odds stacked against them, to manufacture a goalless draw against the early pacesetters in a match that could go a long way in defining both teams’ success and failure towards the final MTC Premiership log standings. Off the field, a bunch of unruly supporters believed to be followers of “Okahirona” turned their frustration on popular Otjiherero radio sports anchor Rodman Katjaimo, venting their anger at the poor unsuspecting scribe. The bunch accused Katjaimo of serial unfavourable reporting towards their beloved club – leaving bro Rod to posts on his Facebook account relating in detail what transpired after the Stars/Fighters goalless draw at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. The clearly agitated bro Rod, a noted man of the cloth, castigated his critics for their not-so-cool code of conduct. MIGHTY GUNNERS With just eight points separating sixth-placed Orlando Pirates and basement dwellers Young Chiefs and Chief Santos, respectively – the men in camouflage are far from safety despite having collected well-deserved maximum points against Blue Waters in last weekend’s action. However, the soldiers stumbled in the 2-all draw against rejuvenated Eleven Arrows in their next league match, a result that leaves them quite thin in the crucial area of point accumulation. ORLANDO PIRATES Whispers from that neck of the woods are that long-serving club administrator and retired agile shot-stopper Bossie Vries, has changed his alliance to the country’s football governing body’s heavyweights after a juicy carrot was dangled in his baby face. Insiders say Namibia Football Association (NFA) honcho Frans Mbidi, in a desperate bid to garner support for his long-held ambitions to have his lodging within the structures of football prolonged, has netted the usually critical Vries. It is said Vries has been promised a plum position within the NFA Directorate in return for influencing his constituencies, the //Kharas and Hardap regions to sway their votes by agreeing on imminent amendments to the NFA statutes that would allow Mbidi to realise his wish for a third term in office. In addition to the lucrative perks, Vries has also been appointed match commissioner for Confederation of African Football assignments by his newly found ally. RUNDU CHIEFS The boys from the Kavango River are determined to avoid the drop to the lower division and have embarked on an aggressive training programme to stay afloat. However, it is going to be a mountainous task to sustain and ultimately realise their newly found onslaught and drive. TIGERS The dark cloud that was hanging over Namibia’s reigning league champions has finally faded after it was announced that Tigers had won the disciplinary case it had against the league. The case stems from Tigers’ earlier decision not to honour their first two opening league fixtures at the start of the current season due to administrative and logistical issues. Still with the club, Ingwe are gradually clawing their way up the log standings and judging from last weekend’s nearfaultless performance, Woody Jacobs’ reigning champions are still within shouting distance to mount a serious challenge for the successful defence of the coveted league title. And despite vehement denials that he is eyeing a position within the top echelons of domestic football, former Tigers exco member Lukas Nanyemba is reportedly among Mbidi’s preferred candidates to succeed incumbent NFA SG Barry Rukoro. TURA MAGIC The Magicians’ impressive mid-week 5-0 mauling of Citizens is a clear indication that James Britz’s young brigades remain serious title contenders. New-found Brave Warriors sensation, Junior Theofelus, a product from the revered garden town (Okahandja) helped himself to a brace during the goals galore spree bringing his tally to seven goals in the current term. Gangling striker Ita “Makanya” Keimuine also registered his name on the score sheet to increase his season’s goal tally to nine league goals. Ghanaian overlapping fullback Nicholas Adade has rejoined the club after his self-imposed exile. UNAM Injury-prone lethal goal-poacher Muna (Notch) Katupose has become the chief beneficiary of a welcome financial boost when the Namibian Football Players Union (NFPU) stepped in to donate N,000 towards his medical expenses. The dreadlocked free-scoring striker sustained a careerthreatening knee injury while on national duty – thus missing out on a chance to represent his native land in the recently concluded CHAN Cup in Morocco. YOUNG AFRICAN The league’s new boys are seating comfortably in the second spot behind log-leaders African Stars after 17 rounds of matches in the highly competitive 16-team MTC Premiership. The men from the Cattle Country are defying their rookie tag - having already claimed the scalps of Fighters, Magic and Gunners en route to claiming the inaugural edition of the Namibia Debmarine Cup. While many football pundits, including the author, described the victory (in the absence of the big six) as just another 9-day wonder – the uncompromising Epako outfit certainly means business. Only a fool would bet against the league novices pushing log-leaders African Stars to the limit for the coveted league title. In the interim, the ambitious outfit has enlisted the services of former Brave Warriors charismatic purple-haired gloves man Denna Bruwer, to take the goalies through the ropes. YOUNG CHIEFS After a sluggish start to their league campaign this term, the Northerners have upped their game recording successive well-deserved draws away from home against formidable opponents in the shape of Black Africa and Young African, respectively. Nonetheless, the two hard-earned points gained still leave Chiefs mired in the relegation zone still holding the wooden spoon.
NEW ERA | Friday, February 23 2018 2018 Debmarine Namibia Cup dates set Page 41 Mbidi/Barry ugly spat, a bad omen for our football Page 40 SPORT Naidjala to face Moloney tomorrow Otniel Hembapu Windhoek One of Namibia’s top bantamweight boxers Immanuel ‘Prince’ Naidjala will tomorrow trade leather with undefeated Australian boxer Jason ‘The Smooth One’ Moloney in a mega fight that will see both boxers square off for the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight title at St Kilda City Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. the pressure will be on homeboy Moloney, who will be defending his World Boxing Association (WBA) Oceania Bantamweight title while challenging Naidjala for the Commonwealth crown. Should the Australian lose the against the Namibian, he will also forfeit his WBC belt. Naidjala has a record of 28 coming by way of knockouts. His undefeated Australian opponent holds a record of 12 knockouts Ahead of his departure to the Big chance… Namibia’s top bantamweight boxer Immanuel ‘Prince’ Naidjala (left) will tomorrow square off with undefeated Australian opponent Jason ‘The Smooth One’ for the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight title at St Kilda City Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Nampa to me because I know I’ve to step up my game to get back to winning ways. I feel my preparation this time has been quite different and feel to thank the MTC Sunshine team for their unwavering support and countless opportunities accorded to me during my entire professional boxing career. I know it is now up to me to make things happen and I promise not to disappoint. Moloney I’m coming for you.” Woody out to return Tigers to winning ways Otniel Hembapu Windhoek MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) reigning champions Tigers mentor Woody Jacobs says he will not read too much into his team’s current position on the league log standings but will rather take it one game at a time as they work towards getting back to winning ways. The defending champions are currently sitting 11th on the log with 18 points but coach Jacobs is not bothered by cynics who are using the team’s current position on the log table to gauge their league title prospects. Top on his list of priorities is getting the team back to winning ways and restore a certain degree that can only be achieved if they take it one match at a time and strive to collect maximum points with every game that comes. Tigers tonight face chancy league rookies Young African at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, in what is expected to be an exciting clash between the two which have in recent times seen the league’s new boys do wonders. Tigers, on the other hand, are on a serious mission of restoring the supporters’ faith in the club while log table – a task Jacobs says he and his boys are “We have had ample time to prepare for tonight’s match against Young African and the response from the boys have been great. It will be a tough match against Young African, as they have proved what they are capable of and even their current position on the log speaks for itself. But, be it as it may, we won’t rush into things, as our plan is to take it one match at a time while working on getting back to winning ways. As for tonight, like I said, it won’t be easy but we have what it takes to collect the three points at stake. Young African are league rookies but their performance and results speak otherwise, so that’s why we won’t make the mistake of taking them lightly or underestimate them,” said Jacobs, who added that the same approach will to implemented when they face rivals Black Africa on Sunday at the same venue. NPL WEEKEND FIXTURES Friday, February 23 Tigers vs Young African (Sam Nujoma Stadium, 20h00) Saturday, February 24 UNAM vs Civics (UNAM Stadium, 15h00) Slowly but surely… Tigers mentor Woody Jacobs is determined to get his team back to winning ways. Photo: Nampa Rundu Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates (Rundu SportsStadium, 15h00) Mighty Gunners vs Life Fighters (Mokati Stadium, 15h00) Blue Waters vs Chiefs Santos (Kuisebmond Stadium, 15h00) Eleven Arrows vs Young Chiefs (Kuisebmond Stadium, 17h00) Tura Magic vs Black Africa (Sam Nujoma Stadium, 17h00) Citizens vs African Stars (Sam Nujoma Stadium, 19h00) Sunday, February 24 Blue Waters vs Young Chiefs (Kuisebmond Eleven Arrows vs Chiefs Santos (Kuisebmond Stadium, 15h00) Mighty Gunners vs Orlando Pirates (Mokati Stadium, 15h00) UNAM vs African Stars (UNAM Stadium, 15h00) Rundu Chiefs vs Life Fighters (Rundu Sports Stadium, 15h00) Tura Magic vs Young African (Sam Nujoma Stadium, 17h00) Tigers vs Black Africa (Sam Nujoma Stadium, 19h00)