They came and they survived

Not many clubs do well during their first season in topflight football, but Gobabis-based Young African displayed remarkably hard work in their first season.

30 April 2018 | Sports

Founded on 1 March 2013 by Marley Ngarizemo, the name of Young African Football Club only became known when they secured entry into the premier league.

Hard work, commitment and the drive to succeed have brought this remarkable club to where it is at the moment.

The 'Cattle Boys', as they are affectionately known, have survived relegation in their first season in the Namibia Premier League.

The club was founded by former Brave Warriors and African Stars defender Marley Ngarizemo, who is also their coach.

“I founded this club because I wanted to be part of football and give back to the game that has made me who I am.

“When I started, my aim from the beginning was to ensure that the club reaches the premier league.

“I was really not surprised when we got there because I trusted in my instincts and I knew I had good players.”

When they made their debut with a relatively unknown group of players with little experience, no one gave them a chance of remaining in the premier league next season.

But the team proved that they are a force to be reckoned with after winning the NFA Debmarine Namibia Cup.

It all started when they became the champions of the Cattle Country Football League (second division) during the 2013/14 season.

What was special about their promotion was that the club was formed just prior to their participation in the second division.

They faced a setback when they failed to gain promotion during the 2014/15 season.

“That was the hardest pill to swallow after we did not gain promotion during that season.

“I told the boys that they must dust themselves off in order to win the next season.”

They then went on to be crowned champions of the Southern Stream First Division in the 2015/16 season.

With the support of the Gobabis local authority, Young African have made the town's Legare Stadium their home.

When they entered the premier league, the club immediately started making an impact and beating bigger teams.

The club also contributed several players to the national team.

It has produced talented players like Himeezembi Hengombe, who was part of the national team that participated in the CHAN competition. “I am happy with what the club has achieved in this time but now I want to focus on the future.

“It is important that we hold a meeting after the league season ends in order to pave the way forward for the club,” Ngarizemo said.

He said he would invite the club's fans and supporters to discuss the way forward.

His aim for next season is to get sponsors on board and other people who can help manage the team.

“There are people who have helped this club and I am thankful for that.

“This club needs to be sustained and I am sure that we can make it with the help of sponsors and individuals.”

Young African are currently third on the premier league table with two games to go.

Ngarizemo also revealed that he planned to get another coach on board so that he could focus on other aspects of running the club.


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