WesBank Tigers is the only unbeaten side in the MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPLL) and its nil-all stalemate with highly-rated Orlando Pirates has given Coach Bobby Samaria another reason to believe.
Tigers is nestled on the summit of the league with 16 points from six games, two points ahead of defending champions, Black Africa.
Two-time league winner, Samaria, believes Tigers is the team to beat this season, just like when he arrived at Stars in the 2008/9 season.
“When I went to Stars, it was a mid-table club and that is where I learnt how to transform a team into champions. I am here to keep Tigers at the top four. Finishing in the top-four is my aim but winning the league would be a bonus,” says Samaria.
Last season, Samaria helped Tigers finish third. Tigers has never won the NPL title since its inception in 1987, with its success only coming in domestic cup competitions. Its last triumph was the 1996 Namibia Football Association (NFA) Cup, a 2-1 win against African Stars.
“The secret behind the good form has to do with their pre-season training despite losing some big name players, among them Ananias Gebhardt and Pineas Jacob.”
Gebhardt has since jumped ship to Black Africa and Jacob is at Amazulu in South Africa.
“People are surprised to see us at the top. They should not. In the last few games of last season, we won five, drew five and lost once. The good start was determined by a good pre-season we had because we put up a good work. The current squad is much better with more depth. I brought in seven players last season and they have adopted well.”
Key to the team’s success is goalkeeper, Loydt Kazapua, who has conceded three goals so far with striker, Benson Shilongo, finding the net on three occasions while Protash Kambwe has two goals to his credit.
On Saturday night at the Sam Nujoma, Orlando Pirates’ Chikondi ‘Farook’ Likwemba was outstanding but had no solution to Loydt Kazapua’s finesse.
Full Results of other NPL games
Civics1- 2African Stars, Black Africa 1-0 Ramblers, United Stars 0-0 Rundu Chiefs, Eleven Arrows 2-3 Blue Boys, Tura Magic 1-0 Blue Waters.