WINDHOEK – Civics Football Club and Brave Warriors playmaker Heini Isaacks could not have asked for a better send-off following his imminent move to Turkish Super League club, Elazig Spor, this week.
The veteran goatee-bearded midfielder scooped the prestigious MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) Player of the Season Award, which carries a prize of N$30 000, after a near faultless display for both club and country.
He swept aside Brave Warriors teammates Bryan Bantam (BA) and Balack Somaeb (B Waters).
Isaacks was overwhelmingly voted the NPL Best Player of the 2011/2012 campaign at a glittering ceremony at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, last night.
As widely expected, reigning MTC Premiership champions Black Africa Football Club enjoyed the lion’s share of prizes at stake, with coach Brian Isaacs walking away with the much sought-after Coach of the Season Award (N$20 000). The other short-listed candidates were: Gilbert Rwasoka (B Waters) and Christy Guruseb (Civics).
BA’s lethal goal poacher and Turkish-bound Jerome “The Crocodile” Louis, shared the golden boot award (N$30 000) with relegated Hotspurs’ hotshot Richard Kavendjii, after both players were tied on 12 goals each.
Midfielder Bryan Bantam, a surprise nominee in the category for the controversial Player Players of the Season Award, completed the accolades for the Gemengde-based side when his name came first out of the hat at the expense of fellow shortlisted candidates, Stigga Ketjijere and Heini Isaacks. The winner received N$20 000.
FIFA-accredited referees Reinhold Shikongo and Dawid Shaanika were the proud recipients of N$10 000 each in the categories for Referee and Assistant Referee Award, respectively.
In his keynote address, MTC’s Tim Ekandjo, emphasised the importance of continuing the culture of celebrating successes, and where failures also disgraced those entrusted with the running of the game for them to clearly distinguish between the things they have done well and the things they have not done so well, so that they don’t end up celebrating failures – mistaking them for successes.
“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Black Africa for a stunning league victory. If you ask them how they have managed two league titles in a row, I am sure they will mention (1) planning, (2) genuine investment and (3) hard work.
“Let me also thank and congratulate FNB, sponsor of BA, for a job well done. It is a clear indication that there is a need for more investment and support to NPL clubs, but with the right amount of investment.
“Let me also thank the NBC for having started showing the NPL games live, we trust that you will continue to do so in the coming season despite your lack of resources.”
Ekandjo also expressed his excitement that the ‘Class of ’98’ was honoured at the same occasion. “It is indeed sad that such great players have never been ‘farewelled’ with testimonial games, but we will hopefully work towards that soon to show you even more appreciation.”
However, the youthful MTC strongman could not resist a parting shot at the fumbling NPL bosses, saying if the league is hoping for different results in the NPL next season, then it will make sense to do things differently as one can naturally not expect a different or better result with the same approach.
“Please replace or get rid of the league’s Disciplinary Committee as they have failed all of us dismally. They certainly have no reasonable excuse not to have finalised disciplinary cases during the first league games and subsequent ones. Their failure has certainly sent the wrong message of crowd violence to other disciplined supporters and teams and that is highly unacceptable,” charged an irate Ekandjo.
In a rather soft tone, Ekandjo ended by congratulating all the nominees and winners while extending a hearty welcome to the league’s new boys, Tura Magic and Rundu Chiefs.