Vacuum in footage dampening players’ chances

Namibian football agent Collin April says video footage plays a huge role when international clubs are interested in local players.

17 May 2021 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI







WINDHOEK

Collin April has over the years established himself as one of Namibia’s leading football agents.

He has exported many Namibian footballers to the international market, including former players Quinton Jacobs and Paulus Shipanga.

April said he has built up a great relationship with club owners over the years and they trust him to deliver the right quality player.

In the past, clubs would brief him on the type of player they wanted, and he would go through his list and recommend a player.

He would take the risk of purchasing a flight ticket for that player, which would be reimbursed when the player signed with the club.

However, things have changed over the years and clubs now request footage of a player first, he said.

This makes the process a little easier when they call the player for trials.

“Footage helps a lot when it is readily available,” he said.

Back in the day, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation would sell footage to an agent if a particular match was broadcast. In the local league, it is difficult to get such footage, though.

“This is where the clubs really need to step in and hire people to take this footage. I mean, they do it so well in South Africa and in Zambia,” April said.

Learn how things work

April further said players also make things difficult for themselves if they speak to too many people at once.

“Some players are not honest from the beginning. They speak to many people. Only later you find out that the player is also speaking to various agents.

“I advise players to speak to one agent and stick to agreements. Allow the agent to manage you off the field, just stick to playing football.

“Players really need to understand and learn the dynamics of how things work.

“So far, I have been really impressed with Peter Shalulile. When I approached him, he told me that he was being managed by Jakes Amaning. He told me I could speak to Amaning and together we could see how best to work together. From the start, he was honest; that is what I like.”

Open door

April believes Namibia has talented players who are in demand around the world and he is available to give advice to these players, whether male or female.

“My door is always open to help and advise where I can. I want to see more agents coming up, and would love to see more Namibian players playing abroad, male or female,” April added.

Another agent, Hareni Mbaeva, agreed about the difficulty of obtaining footage.

“It is a struggle. You would approach the national broadcaster and it would take you about five months to get footage. I’m always running around trying to get footage.

“Yes, some clubs make an effort to get camera people to shoot for them. At the moment, the requirement from international clubs when they are interested in a player is footage and a CV. The footage should, of course, be of great quality.

“I have local players who I’m looking to send for trials, but still, the footage is not there. This is really a gap which needs to be closed,” he said.

Mbaeva is Wangu Gome’s agent. At the moment, Gome is playing for Alashkert in the Armenian Premier League, and he has also been dealing with McCartney Naweseb of Orlando Pirates.

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