42 SPORT Friday, March 2 2018| NEW ERA 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 African Stars The wheels of fortune are slowly coming off the smooth sailing train of “Starlile” but having built a sizable lead in the MTC Premiership during the first round – the Reds remain firmly in the driving seat topping the log table on 41 points – 6 points ahead of second-placed Young African. A narrow 1-0 shock defeat against unfashionable Citizens has sent the club’s diehards into an uncontrollable mode of panic with calls for the head coach Bobby Samaria’s removal flooding the social media. However, the Reds dusted themselves off defeating a stubborn UNAM side with an identical scoreline to ease the pressure off the under-fire mentor bro “Bobsteak”. Starlile’s versatile cat-footed netballer Chaa Kavari has been appointed as assistant coach for the Khomas netball team to partake in the inaugural edition of the annual Namibian Newspaper Cup. Black Africa The quadruple Namibian champions were dealt a heavy blow off the pitch this week when bloodthirsty thugs preyed on the club’s blue-eyed boy Lollito Goraseb. The retired pocket size attacking midfielder fell foul of the tsotsies’ crime sheet when the night vultures pounced on the unsuspecting football icon in the wee hours of Wednesday morning - relieving the whiskered brother of his valuables. Apart from sustaining serious injuries to his face, Lolo, who is also President of the Namibia Players Football Union, was left without his wheels as the robbers sped off with his Nissan Fortuner double cab pick-up. Blue Waters Executive member Franco Cosmos, a lawyer by profession, has been installed as the head of the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) Finance Standing Committee as part of the country’s flagship football league’s bid to realign the wobbling organisation. Strongly built Nigerian striker Dominique Edom was among the goal-scorers as the Birds gifted the visiting Chief Santos a rousing welcome at the Kuisebmond Stadium in last weekend’s league action. Chief Santos Despite the Copper Town lads’ woes on the playing field, as they find results very hard to come by, Santos’ Ricardo //Uirab has been appointed as the chairman of the NPL Youth Football Standing Committee with the ultimate aim to oversee the development of youth football. The orange and green strip outfit, staring relegation in the face, looks certain for a quick retreat to the country’s second tier football league unless performance improves drastically on the playing field. Santos suffered the worst defeat in their flourishing history when they were humbled 8-1 by an average Eleven Arrows in Walvis Bay, last weekend. In any proper structures, the toothless Copper Town lads would have been summoned by league authorities to explain their poor show as such cricket scores have the potential of bringing the game of football into disrepute. Citizens Well, they don’t say it loud, but murmurs of discontent in the corridors of football gossips can be silently heard, with those in the football structures complaining bitterly. It’s claimed that club honcho bro Dave Goagoseb, has shamelessly appointed himself as Chef de Mission of the Khomas regional football team for the upcoming annual Namibian Newspaper Cup. And to demonstrate their shock 1-0 win over log leaders Stars was no fluke, the Citizens came from a goal down to beat Civics 2-1 in a hotly contested mid-week league clash at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. The victory lifted bro Dave’s unfashionable outfit to 11th spot on the log table - five points clear from the red zone. Civics Multiple title-winning mentor Brian “Oubaas” Isaacs says the Civilians’ diehards should forget about watching a Civics team playing their traditional attractive football this term as he is putting emphasis on saving the team from relegation. “To be honest, I just don’t have a squad good enough at my disposal to challenge for top honours or playing attractive football. My prime target is making sure the team remains in the country’s elite football league”. In the interim, streetwise club owner Tim Isaacs, a product of the notorious Bethlehem enclave, is back in the NPL hierarchy after he was unceremoniously elbowed out of the NPL Management Committee. Bro “TY” will anchor the NPL Technical & Development Standing Committee. Young attacking midfielder Juninho Jantze made his debut for the Civilians in the mid-week 2-1 loss to Citizens. Eleven Arrows Arrows were left fuming at the referee after the match official awarded a last-minute spot kick to the visiting Young Chiefs, which the northerners coolly put away to claim a 1-0 victory accompanied by three valuable points. However, the agitated gold and maroon strip seeasiders responded by walloping Chief Santos 8-1 for their biggest win in the country’s topflight football league. Life Fighters A worrisome heavy dip in form has seen “Okahirona” dropping dramatically down the pecking order, as the league returnees are now occupying one of three relegation spots on the NPL log standings. An embarrassing heavy defeat against local rivals Mighty Gunners followed by a 1-all draw against fellow strugglers Rundu Chiefs left the Orwetoveni outfit swimming dangerously with the sharks in the red zone with 18 points to their credit – an insurmountable gulf of 27 points away from the summit. Mighty Gunners The men in camouflaged uniform appear to have rediscovered the kind of form that propelled them to the final of the Namibia Debmarine Cup last year. The soldiers discovered well-deserved back-to-back wins in last weekend’s league action including a 3-0 over neighbours Life Fighters Orlando Pirates The Ghosts’ energetic rookie football administrator, Nicky Kisipile, is a young man on the rise. The easily approachable young fellow’s rapid rise in football administration has been rewarded with a position within the NPL. Bro Nick will spearhead the newly formed NPL Audit Compliance Standing Committee. A man of few words, Ou Nick has promised to make the Buccaneers the team it used to be in the past. “Pirates are well known for dishing out a good brand of football on the pitch and one of our mandate is to ensure that our fans are entertained through the good brand of football reminiscent of the great Pirates sides.” Rundu Chiefs The boys from the Kavango River are still mired in the relegation zone – two points from safety but judging from last weekend’s improved performance, the new-look Chiefs outfit certainly has what it takes to escape the might of the dreaded relegation axe that has been hovering dangerously over them since the start of the current term. Tigers Contrary to his own admission that he has no ambition or desire whatsoever to be involved in football management, Lucas Nanyemba, is the new chairperson of the NPL Finance Standing Committee. After a slow start to their title defence, “Ingwe” is prowling again. Woody Jacobs’ wounded soldiers are on a mission to make a serious statement for a late charge on their title defence. Only a fool would write the Namibian champions off after they manufactured back to back wins against title rivals Young African and Black Africa sending butterflies running riot in the bellies of the teams above them. And having been given a much welcome reprieve over its outstanding winnable league fixtures against mid-table Citizens and UNAM respectably – the resurgent “Ingwe” cannot be taken lightly anymore. Tura Magic Departed goatee-bearded football playing centre back ,Tebs Lombard, is enjoying life with new club Lusaka Dynamos in the highly competitive live televised football league in neighbouring Zambia. Following their lukewarm showing in last weekend’s league action by their own standards, the Magicians must pull out all stops when they travel northwards for a tricky trip against the much improved Young Chiefs and bottom club Chief Santos, respectively. Club Director Paulus Ngolombe has been appointed Chairman of the NPL Organizing Standing Committee. UNAM Word flirting from the gossip corridors is that head coach Ronny “The Magnet” Kanalelo, is ostensibly skating on thin ice after the students suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of MTC Premiership table toppers African Stars. The Clever Boys are safely perched in the fifth position on the log standings above well-established campaigners that includes reigning champions Tigers, Blue Waters, Orlando Pirates Civics and Eleven Arrows to mention but a few. Young African The league’s surprise package suffered their fourth defeat of the season - going down 1-0 against the rejuvenated defending champions Tigers. Nonetheless, the league’s new boys dusted themselves off in the most dignified fashion by dispatching the serial inconsistent Tura Magic via a convincing 4-2 triumph to cling onto their second spot on the MTC Premiership log table, six points off the pace of table toppers African Stars. Young Chiefs Despite good performances that have propelled them out of the bottom three – Chiefs are mathematically still mired in the relegation zone seating dangerously on 18 points – the same tally as third-placed bottom side Life Fighters. Chiefs came from two goals down to force a 2-all draw against hosts Blue Waters in the weekend’s other league encounter and the valuable point accrued from that particular match lifted them outside the danger zone, at least for the time being. Meanwhile, Ghanaian recruit Michael Frigo, announced his arrival in domestic football with two well-taken goals in his debut for Chiefs and his coach Cascas Angula could not heap enough praises on the new goal machine.
Friday, March 2 2018 | NEW ERA SPORT 43 Tribute to a departed ‘Bird’, Bernhardt ‘Da Costa’ Philemon 1951– 1988 Departed Blue Waters Football Club attacking midfielder Bernard ‘Da Costa’ Philemon was arguably one of the most underrated footballers this country has ever unearthed. And although the late pale hide Da Costa was born in Walvis Bay in 1951, he grew up in Tsumeb, but the strongly built midfielder never featured for any of the local clubs in the copper town as he started his amazing football career at boyhood team Blue Waters Football Club. In later years, the rock star lookalikea Da Costa relocated to the place of his birth whilst still a young man barely out of his pair of shorts, joining forces with the ‘Beautiful Birds’ in the late sixties. Unlike many of his peers who started their football journey in the Birds’ second strings, the handsome midfielder walked straight into Omeya’s starting line-up where he in no time established himself as a vital cog in the Birds’ engine room. In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sports feature, detailing the unrevealed journey of retired athletes, New Era Sport pays tribute to one of the most unsung football heroes, as we go toe to toe with Da Costa’s unfulfilled football journey. Gone too soon… Da Costa (5th from left - back row) pictured with Blue Waters FC in Walvis Bay in 1972. Standing from left: Zacharias Niilenge (Bonneti’s old man) (president), Simon ‘Motwa’ Mwandingi, Micah ‘Capro’ Ngapurue, Festus Ekandjo (secretary), Benhardt ‘Da Costa’ Philemon, Samuel ‘Bonneti’ Niilenge, Johannes Kapuii ‘Black Napoleon’ Hangula, Petrus Ngatangue Katuuo (team manager). Squatting, from left, Ranga Lucas, Willibaldt Parri Shekupe (captain), Lawrence ‘Zondi’ Amadhila, Joeltjie Andima, Lukas ‘Aupapa-Etenda’ Hipondoka. Carlos ‘CK’ Kambaekwa Walvis Bay Back in the day, during the height of apartheid in the then South West Africa (SWA), light-skinned black people were regarded superior to their darkish hide counterparts even if they were descendants from the same tribe. This nauseating notion was instilled in the minds of Bantus by the evil apartheid authorities, even going to the length of giving lightskinned employees preferential treatment over their own kith and kin within the workplace. They would always get installed as foremen (supervisors) to run an eye over their fellow Bantu folks while receiving better salaries than those with dark skins. This misplaced perception would trickle down to social gatherings amongst the black folk in recreational associations such as the beautiful game of football and many other aspects in the daily life of blacks. Ironically, footballers of light complexion would always be a mile ahead of the darkish hide counterparts and would be justifiably treated with admiration by their teammates, fans and the opposition alike. Almost each and every football club in the business had a lightskinned squad member in their midst and they were all exceptional athletes in their own right. The country’s oldest football club Tigers had Purikie Foster in their armoury, Cape Cross (Wherrick Zimmer-Goraseb), African Stars (Mike Pack and Epson Kapuire), Orlando Pirates (Michael ‘Ou Pine’ Pienaar, Thomas Losper, Gustav ‘Bassieman’ Jimmy-Naruseb), Eleven Arrows (Freek Samaria), Namib Woestyn (Laurentius ‘Daito’ Hagedoorn) but none was more popular than the Portuguese-looking pair of Purikie and Blue Waters attacking midfielder Bernard ‘Da Costa’ Philemon. The pair wore the same resemblance and had identical playing style but worse still, their precious lives were both mysteriously abbreviated while still at the pinnacle of their flourishing football careers. Coastal side Blue Waters are well known for their unique smooth sailing playing style, which has characterised the club’s history up to the modern day. In the early seventies, Katutura giants Orlando Pirates dominated football in several knockout tournaments to the extent that the black and white strip outfit almost ran out of decent opponents – winning almost every available trophy on offer. However, the unavoidable emergence of Da Costa Philemon’s inspired youthful Blue Waters side would change the landscape – bringing a premature end to the Ghosts’ dominance. The Birds were playing the finest brand of football in the business and thousands would flock en masse to the old Katutura football field to follow the Birds whenever the seasiders touched down in the capital. Da Costa was your typical modern day box-to-box midfielder - covering every blade of grass while making it a habit of registering his name on the score sheet at regular intervals. Blessed with great pace and excellent first touch, the Elvis Presley lookalike Blue Waters playmaker captured the imagination of neutral football fans with his unmatched endurance and unbelievable football virtuosity second to none. His presence in the Birds’ engine room provided stability, allowing his teammates to attack the opposition without fear of leaving themselves exposed at the back. The energetic Da Costa was deployed as a lone midfielder during the days of the outdated primitive four-one-five playing format and would operate between the defenders and forwards with astonishing aplomb. Da Costa was an invaluable squad member of the star-studded Western Invitational Eleven where he pulled strings in the middle of the park alongside the legendary Nangi ‘Watch’ Nickel, Axarob Doeseb, Haban Adams, Edy Cloete and Laurentius ‘Daito’ Hagedoorn amongst a horde of highly gifted footballers from that neck of the woods. Sadly, the adorable midfielder took a bow from the game of life at the fairly young age of 37 while still at the pinnacle of his blossoming football career. A highly gifted athlete, Da Costa passed away in Tsumeb in 1988. He was laid to rest at his home village Oshigambo in the Oshikoto Region. May his soul rest in eternal peace, in one piece.