Black Africa midfielder Bradley Wermann completed a great season by winning the Namibia Sport MTC Player of the Season award.
He was a popular winner with half of the judges voting for him, while it was his third award, after he had earlier scooped the NPL Player of the Season and the NPL Players’ Player of the Season awards. Wermann pocketed an unprecedented N$55 000 in prize money from league sponsors MTC - a clear indication that the Namibia Premier League is growing in stature and professionalism.
Black Africa were finally crowned league champions on April 30 when they beat archrivals Orlando Pirates 2-1 in a thrilling match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. Pirates had taken the lead in the first half but BA came back in determined fashion in the second half, launching attack after attack and goals by Warren Neidel and Bradley Wermann gave them victory and their first league title in 12 years. They had clinched the title with two rounds to go and when the league was finally completed three weeks later, BA had won by a massive 10 points ahead of second placed Ramblers.
The local soccer season will come to a fitting end this month when the MTC Premiership title and Leo NFA Cup champions will be crowned in May.
Black Africa virtually wrapped up the MTC Premiership title when they beat their closest challengers, Ramblers, 2-0 on April 16, to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the log with only three matches remaining. With the only other team still in with a chance of winning the title, Orlando Pirates, stumbling to a 2-1 defeat to Eleven Arrows on the same day, BA are now virtually home and dry.
Paulus “The Hitman” Moses proved that he is ready to challenge for the world title again when he knocked out Miguel Lombardo in the first round of their international lightweight fight at the Independence Day Boxing Bonanza on 19 March.
Moses put Lombardo down with a crunching left hook to the body and the Argentinian had no answer, as he sunk to his knees and was counted out after only 2:59.
With his stunning victory, new opportunities have opened up for Moses, who is now being groomed for another crack at the world title after he lost the WBA lightweight title in May last year.
Black Africa have suddenly emerged as the favourites to win the MTC Premiership after pulling away from the pack at the top of the log. After the dismissal of Ricardo Mannetti as coach at the end of last year, Brian Isaacs was brought in as technical advisor and he got off to a winning, if somewhat lucky start as Black Africa beat both SKW and Tigers after last minute goals.
Namibia’s women’s soccer team, the Brave Gladiators, held a strong Angolan team to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Olympics 2012 qualifier in Luanda on January 15.
It was a remarkable performance, bearing in mind that more than half of the Namibian squad was made up of Under 20 players, while the Angolan players were physically much stronger. Four players in their team, in fact, hardly looked feminine at all, leading Namibian coach Jacqui Shipanga to call for an inquiry into the gender of the players.
With the MTC Premiership having reached the halfway stage, the league is still wide open with only five points separating the top nine clubs.
With the winner set to receive a massive N$1 million, the league has seen some intense battles and upsets with no one managing to pull away from the pack. Ramblers, the surprise early leaders, held a three-point lead at a stage but the chasing pack closed the gap in a weekend of upsets on December 10 and 11. Ramblers lost to Pirates, while the other front runners also lost with SKW going down to Eleven Arrows and Black Africa losing to Blue Waters.
This season’s MTC Premiership title race is developing into a fascinating battle and with the competition nearing the halfway stage, the title race is still wide open.
Ramblers proved that their early successes were no fluke as they opened up a three-point lead over SKW by the end of Round 9 of the competition. A crucial victory for them came on November 19 when they beat the defending champions African Stars 1-0, but the previous week they suffered their first defeat of the season against Black Africa.
The 2010/11 MTC Premiership has burst into action and surprisingly, Ramblers have set the early pace with a three-point lead at the top of the log.
No one would have expected this, especially after their poor form last season when they had to fight relegation before finishing tenth on the log, but a major overhaul, resulting in a new coach and manager and 16 new players, has contributed to their early success.
What a month we’ve had! In soccer there has been drama on and off the field, with the Brave Warriors starting their 2012 African Cup of Nations campaign off on a losing note against Gambia, while coach Tom Saintfiet decided he had had enough and jumped ship to take over the helm at Zimbabwe.
The trip to Gambia was doomed from the start with the withdrawal of key players, late flight schedules and only one full training session all contributing to a disastrous start for the Brave Warriors as they lost 3-0 against Gambia in Banjul.