16 Apr 2016 10:40am
GOBABIS, 16 APR (NAMPA) - The prospect of Young African Football Club qualifying for the elite Namibia Premier League (NPL), not only represents the attainment of a dream but could also unlock potential in the Omaheke Region.
Young African Football FC are the current log-leaders of the Southern Stream First Division (SSFD), leading the pack with 27 points and only five games remaining.
Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, club owner and head coach Maleagi 'Mali' Ngarizemo said qualifying for the NPL has always been his dream after having retired from professional football.
He noted that Young African FC needs four points to qualify and people at first thought that him establishing the club was a mere dream but they were wrong.
The club was founded on 01 March 2013.
Football has always been my life and when I started this club, people thought it was a mere pipe-dream that will play in the premier league one day, but I did that, and I think I had done so in style.
Ngarizemo has nine caps with the national senior football team, Brave Warriors, over the period of eight years. He also represented Namibia at the 2008 African Cup of Nations, in Ghana.
Ngarizemo played for the national senior Brave Warriors football team from 2001 to 2008.
He also had numerous stints at Premier Soccer League clubs in South Africa such as Cape Town FC and Black Leopards.
In 2010, he joined North York Astros in the Canadian Soccer League. He retired from professional football in 2013.
The former African Stars talisman reiterated that not only will Young African FC club be a gateway to exposing the sport talent of the youth in Gobabis, but will also be a vital role-player in the reduction of crime, teenage pregnancies and the use of alcohol and drugs.
I want to go as far establishing a sports academy in Gobabis because many young people at the town do not really have much to do, and I believe if I can work hand-in-hand with the community to take ownership of the academy and the current Young African team, we can achieve a lot.
The team currently has a total of 27 players, with Ngarizemo sharing his expertise as a renowned footballer in the coaching capacity, whilst former University of Namibia (UNAM) coach Marcelinus Wakudumo serves as Technical Advisor and Dictor Murema as assistant coach.
Ngarizemo added they have faced financial challenges during their tenure in the first division, but is adamant that the biggest challenge they will have to endure is to secure the faith and support of the people from the Omaheke Region.
We decided to relocate the team [From Windhoek], so that this [Gobabis] becomes our home-ground and even though financial challenges still exist, we just want the support of the people from Omaheke region; we do not want their money, we just need their support, thats all.
On Saturday, Young African FC will ply their trade against Try Again in Keetmanshoop, before playing Hardap Boys on Sunday in Kalkrand.
They also have matches with Western Spurs, Blue Boys, and the Khomas Namibia Police Force (NAMPOL) team in the upcoming weeks.