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NPL teams kick start preparations
Black Africa easily romped home with their second successive Namibia Premier League (NPL) title last season.
The rest of the teams are seemingly not willing to let that happen three times in a row and have engaged in efforts to prepare their respective sides for the challenge ahead.
Most clubs have already started with their training with most of them using the time to assess players that want to join their teams.
However, since this process in still ongoing many clubs were unwilling to say which players have been signed by their clubs.
“We don’t want to say things and later find out we were misquoted,” said African Stars’ team manager Lesley Kozonguizi.
“So we will have a certain day that will coincide with a Fun Day, where we will introduce all our new players,” he added.
Kozonguizi did, however, confirm that their player Ronald ‘Stigga’ Ketjijere has been signed by South African side University of Pretoria, also known as AmaTuks.
He also said that a replacement for the Brave Warriors captain has already been identified but was unwilling to divulge who that is.
Ramblers’ Jorge Da Purificacao, meanwhile, said that his team is preparing what appears to be a complete team makeover.
“We have only kept 11 players from last season so we have to beef up the squad with about 10 new players - with trials having started on Monday,” he said.
The Pionierspark outfit will also have to find a replacement for Brave Warriors’ defender Larry Horaeb who is also set to join AmaTuks.
“I can confirm he has agreed personal terms with the South African club, and is only waiting for his ID and international clearance before linking up with the team,” he said.
Newly promoted team Tura Magic have also decided to take a proactive approach to the forthcoming season.
“We have started with our pre-season and we did fitness training last week and so far things are looking good,” said Timo Tjongarero, Tura Magic’s coach.
The coach added that the team has already spoken with players that have expressed their desire to join the team.
“There are guys that want to come to us but we still need to talk to their respective clubs to find out their availability,” he continued.
One such player is goalkeeper Collin Ndjai who was at Magic on a loan from African Stars.
In the meantime, the NPL debutants have decided to recall some of their big name players.
“Teberius Lombaard is back from a stint with Pirates and Neville Tjiueza already returned from Germany during the second part of last season. In fact, Tjiueza has a big part to play for the club in the new season,” Tjongarero said.
One signing that surprised some football fans has been the Magic’s recruitment of former Tigers and Blue Waters player Knowledge Iipinge, who has not played in the NPL for a while.
“We need someone with experience to guide our players whose average age is around 23. Knowledge provides this and is a role model both on and off the field as we’ve never heard bad things about him,” the coach explained.