Teams ‘will get there’
Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) games broadcast live by Namibia Media Holdings on Namibian Sun and Sport Wrap elicited mixed reactions from coaches.
10 May 2021 | Sports
Coaches of the teams that were below par in the first phase of the Transitional Namibia Premier Football League are adamant that their clubs will pick up pace before the actual season starts in August.
A club like Orlando Pirates began the transitional period of the league like a house on fire as the Buccaneers have outclassed most of the opponents they have come up against so far.
However, teams like Citizens FC and Julihno Sporting have not been able to shine as bright as other teams competing in the league.
A lack of match fitness and teamwork is said to have dampened the Citizens and Sporting lights at the start of this transitional season.
“I told you earlier that we struggled to get players together and that is why it proved very difficult to have a full fit squad like some of the other clubs.
“We all know that this is still a transitional period and we do not have to worry much.
“We will definitely look to reinforce and improve before the start of the actual season,” Julihno Sporting coach Nelson Luis said.
Luis has the comfort of knowing that no clubs will be relegated during the transitional period, which allows his club to keep trying out ways to improve.
“I will not say that I am pleased with some of the results we have obtained during this period because I know the players could have done better.
“We have enough time to regroup and build a strong team for the 2021/22 season,” the Julinho mentor said.
Citizens FC coach Bertus Bock admitted that he had hoped his club would do better, even though they have struggled to get their rhythm during the transitional period.
Citizens FC have shown a lack of precision and attacking quality.
For Bertus Bock’s men, it has been more about avoiding heavy defeats than producing convincing performances.
They have relied on the experience of Nevile Tjiueza and Letu Shatimuene to pull them through.
The two players have shown glimpses of their old selves but clearly lack match fitness.
“It has been a very disappointing few weeks for us because we are yet to really play to the best of our potential.
“There is still so much we need to do in order have a ready and forceful squad.
“I can say that we have work to do but the players and the coaching staff will get there.
“If you look at our game on Saturday against Young Brazilians, the guys showed courage to fight back even us eventually did not get the win on that day,” Bock said.
Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates, Civics and Blue Waters coaches felt that their teams are heading in the right direction.
Blue Waters started off the campaign slowly but have seen a gradual improvement in their last matches.
The team on Saturday showed they can convert chances presented to them following a 6-1 triumph over Julinho Sporting FC.
Former premier-league-winning coach Paulus Shipanga praised the players for a gradual improvement and urged them to continue improving.
The club’s form was aided by the return of Brave Warriors goal poacher Hendrick Somaeb.
“We are getting there and the players are now showing levels of fitness that was absent in the first matches.
“I am very happy that Somaeb has returned to the club as he already proved his worth by scoring a couple of goals this weekend.
“I am also happy that young Steven Damaseb was able to get a couple of minutes and actually scored during the weekend.
“He is a young player with promise and we can just make him better as a coaching team,” Shipanga noted.
Orlando Pirates coach Woody Jacobs, who has been animated on the touchline, has more reasons to smile than most of the coaches.
Pirates started the transitional league firing on all cylinders, coming in last weekend’s fixtures as favourites.
The team has collected the most points and played attractive football since the start of the transitional period.
“I am a very happy man because the players have been doing me proud and they are actually playing good football.
“The good thing is that everyone on the pitch is putting in an extra shift, making it easy for each other.
“We will continue working hard going into the next phase of the league because we surely dominated this one,” Jacobs said.
Young Brazilans FC coach Tolla Julius also expected more from his team but felt that they have done him proud on several occasions.
“I am pleased with the boys because they have done me proud even when we have come up against tough challengers.
“I always tell the boys not to try and play the football that is played in other parts, but I want them to always play the Young Brazilian way.
“I want them to play the only way we know how to play, which is attractive and great to watch.
“We will continue working overtime in order to make sure we are able to dominate matches all the time,” Julius said.
See results on page 4 of Sport Wrap