WINDHOEK, 01 AUG – Namibian football personalities have hailed the recent movements of several football players to what they term as more competitive South African football leagues.
Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, Namibia Football Association (NFA) Secretary General Barry Rukoro said the migration of the players to stronger leagues can only help the national team grow stronger.
“They learn new things, they get exposed to tougher competitions and they add so much value to the national team because they are exposed to doing things differently,” Rukoro said.
He also said it helps create Namibian role models as other players can look up to these foreign-based players and work hard to emulate them.
Rukoro said it is important to note that behind Zimbabwe, Namibia is second in supplying foreign players to South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL).
He said it is, however, high time that Namibia aims higher than the PSL.
“We can push them to Europe, where there are even bigger and better leagues. We must move away from seeing our young players once in three months and constantly expose them to the daily rituals of training hard and being able to fight for their positions in Europe,” he added.
His views were echoed by Tigers Football Club coach Woody Jacobs, who added that it will help grow the game because of the type of training and competition they will face there.
“We have good players who can play in competitive leagues like the PSL or in France, England and Spain. Clubs in Namibia should also be able to take advantage of selling these players to South Africa with sell-on clauses, which can help them benefit if the player is sold further,” he explained.
He said the national coach will also have a bigger pool of players to choose from, while local players will aim to follow their colleagues who will be most likely earn bigger salaries.
Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti said it is a welcome ‘headache’ for him to have such a large pool of players to choose from.
“Look at the goalkeeper position. We have four players playing in South Africa, hopefully they all play week in and week out. It will make the competition for the position interesting,” he said.
He added that the policy of not calling up players who do not get game time at their clubs has helped players become more competitive.
Mannetti added that it also pushes the local league to produce replacements for players who leave the local leagues.
Four players – Riaan Hanamub, Edward Maova, Charles Hambira and Loydt Kazapuua – recently moved to South Africa in the current transfer window to join various PSL and Division One clubs.
Currently, Namibia has one player each in Britain, Germany, Egypt, Finland and Indonesia, while 12 players are based in South Africa.
Player movement good for Nam football – experts