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.
Ramblers took a big gamble by appointing the youthful Christy Guruseb as their new coach, but with their new manager Mario Carreira, they have made some astute new signings and are now reaping the benefits. After Round 5 of the MTC Premiership, Ramblers were the only remaining unbeaten team in the league, and although it’s still early days yet, they can well put in a serious challenge this season.
In the November month’s Spotlight On column we take a closer look at Ramblers’ winning duo Guruseb and Carreira, whose collaboration, and success, goes a long way back.
At this stage its too early to say who the main challengers for the title will be but traditional powerhouses like African Stars, Black Africa and Orlando Pirates have been too inconsistent for their own liking. The defending champions Stars got off to a slow start, dropping points against Tigers, SKW and Blue Waters, while Black Africa suffered defeats against Tigers and Oshakati City. Pirates, on the other hand, suffered defeats against Blue Waters and SKW, prompting their coach Gilbert Rwasoka to famously say that they are a ‘sinking ship’.
With all the top clubs dropping points, this season’s title challenge could be one of the closest in recent years and a lot of surprises and upsets can still be expected.
In other football news, John Muinjo retained the NFA presidency after a resounding victory against Ranga Haikali by 13 votes to 3, while Kornelius Kapenda retained the vice presidency by beating JJ Doeseb by 12 votes to 4.
The elections, which took place in the presence of two FIFA delegates, were conducted in a mature and transparent manner, and the dignified manner in which Haikali accepted defeat, as well as his commitment to support Muinjo’s leadership, bodes well for the future of football in Namibia.
October also saw the inauguration of the Katutura Football for Hope Centre, which was attended by FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and Prime Minister Nahas Angula.
The centre was only the third one built in Africa, and was sponsored by FIFA to an amount of about N$3 million. It formed part of FIFA’s “20 Centres for 2010” campaign with the aim of establishing 20 centres throughout Africa and providing a lasting legacy after the successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup.
Namibia last month competed at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India where it won three medals. Boxer Jafet Uutoni won a silver medal while disabled athlete Johanna Benson and shooter Gaby Ahrens won bronze medals. Several other athletes came close to winning medals, with marathon runner Beata Naigambo finishing fourth, while four other boxers were eliminated in the quarterfinals. But once again, poor preparation and political infighting between the Namibia Olympic Committee and the Namibia Boxing Federation hampered our chances of success, and this will have to be addressed ahead of other upcoming international events like the 2012 Olympic Games.
In the November issue we take a look at Namibian rugby and South Africa’s plans to assist them ahead of next year’s World Cup, as well as cricket, where Namibia’s new campaign in the Cricket South Africa competition started off with mixed results.
As usual we bring you our regular columns on Sport Science, ‘They said it’, the monthly sporting calendar and Local Shorts, as well as our MTC Player of the Month competition which is now once again in full swing. Enjoy the read.
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