Benfica ready to return to First Division

15 Apr 2015 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 15 APR (NAMPA) – Namibia Premier League (NPL) outfit Benfica Football Club (FC) are ready to return to the North-East First Division next season.
The Tsumeb-based team is currently bottom of the log on eight points with five games to play in the 16-team league.
Three teams will be relegated at the end of the 2014/15 NPL season.
Benfica are 18 points away from the safety spot – position number 13 - currently occupied by Rundu-based Julinho Sporting, who have 26 points.
Benfica's chairperson Nico Kayamu said only a miracle can save them from relegation.
“We are at the moment ready to play in the First Division. Rundu Chiefs were relegated a season ago and they fought their way back to the NPL the following season. So, I believe we can do the same and even come back stronger,” he told Nampa on Wednesday.
He added that a lack of sponsors and finances contributed to the team being bottom of the log.
“We could not compete in the market to buy big name players like everyone else did due to us not having enough funds. How do you compete with teams that have more money and experienced players than yours?” he asked.
It will always be hard for small teams with lower budgets to compete in the elite league if sponsors don't come on board and help these teams, said Kayamu.
He noted that Benfica's relegation to the First Division will be bad for the Tsumeb community.
“The team’s supporters got used to seeing top Premier League teams in town, and it was also beneficial to the vendors of Tsumeb who sold their fast food at the stadium and got a dollar to feed their families,” said Kayamu.
But the team is hopeful to get back to top flight football again.
“It will be very difficult to keep some of our players when we get relegated, but the management is currently looking at ways on how we can at least keep the team we are currently having and then fight on coming back to the premier league again,” he said.
Benfica will this weekend travel to Windhoek to play Civics on Saturday and Citizens on Sunday.
All matches will be played at the Independence Stadium.