Kanalelo to quit football

28 Apr 2019 13:20pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
WINDHOEK, 28 APR (NAMPA) – Former Brave Warriors captain and current assistant coach, Ronny Fillemon Kanalelo is quitting football for good after more than 30 years in the sport.
The 47-year-old Kanalelo, popularly known as ‘Magnet’, told Nampa telephonically from his base in Maritzburg, South Africa, that when his current contract with his club there and country end in July, he will wave goodbye to the beautiful game.
“I have given enough to the game at both club and national level. We are 20 years behind in football; five years to set up proper structures and get going, and 15 years to develop a complete player technically and tactically, from the age of six. I’m not prepared for that journey, let it be other people’s problem. I am also really tired of the current politics in the game as well, it’s not attractive at all,” he explained.
The gangling Brave Warriors assistant coach said he will cherish all the memories the game has given him, noting some games he played still give him goosebumps even up to today.
“I remember the match in Kenya which we won 1-0 and was actually the decider that made the journey to qualify for our first ever Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) easier. I also remember the match in Libreville against Gabon; I played the best game of my life there because we needed a draw and we accomplished our mission,” he reflected.
He started his career at Blue Waters in the late 80s before joining cross town rivals Arrows.
He went on to join Black Africa, before going to play professional football in South Africa with giants Mamelodi Sundowns between 1997 and 2005.
The fine goalkeeper was notably nominated for the Confederation of African Football ‘Save of the Year’ award.
Kanalelo represented Namibia as a player from 1991 to 1999, earning 53 caps.
For the national team, Kanalelo said he did not work with a lot of coaches but was quick to praise Rusten Mogane, Mitiri Katjiuongua, Peter Uberjan, Shepherd Murape and Seth Boois as the men who were on top of their game with different strengths.
With regards to Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti, who he has known for 27 years, Kanalelo said he has always been there for him.
“He is Namibia’s most successful coach to date. Ever competitive and committed in whatever he is doing. With Collin Benjamin by his side, they will still do wonders with the next cycle and group of players coming up,” he added.
When pressed on what he plans to do after football, Kanalelo responded he is proud to leave with a clean and honest record of his football journey.
“I will no longer be involved in football, but I will always be open to any players or coaches who seek advice from me. I do not even want to own a club, because it is the biggest nightmare one can expose themselves to,” he said.
His former national team coach, Mogane said he was surprised that Kanelelo was quitting football at such a tender age, adding that he is a man of strong character who is very brave, keen to learn and well mannered.
“He was a natural leader, with lots of qualities. This is a big loss to Namibian football... I hope he comes back again in the near future. I wish him luck, I also feel for Mannetti who has lost a trusted friend, confidante and go-to man when it comes to football,” he said.