WINDHOEK - The Nammilk Ramblers Soccer Academy in conjunction with Delta Secondary School Windhoek once again successfully organized the annual youth football tournament in Windhoek recently.
The Ramblers sports grounds hosted the age groups Under -7 to Under -15, while at the Delta Secondary School the U-17’s and girls’ events took place with more than 700 girls and boys in action representing 51 teams and 17 different clubs.
For the first time in the history of the youth tourney, the competition attracted a club from abroad, the Mzansi United SC from Upington, which competed in the Under-13 and U-17 age groups.
In the U-7 age group, sponsored by Omnitel Namibia, the youngsters played 5-a-side soccer on a small field with 8 teams competing on a round robin basis. Otjiwarongo FC ended up on top of the log with 7 wins out of 7 games followed by Swallows from Katutura with newcomers DTS in 3rd place.
In the U-9 age group, 9 teams entered in a league structure with a 6-a-side modus and the youngsters from Otjiwarongo won the “Valco Sales & Service” Cup after edging ahead of Swakopmund FC, as a result of their superior goal difference. Hosts Ramblers had to be satisfied with a consolation 3rd place.
The U-11 age group attracted the most number of entries in a 7-a-side, which has been sponsored by Financial Consulting Services CC since 2008. In three groups, a total of 14 teams fought it out to qualify for the semifinals and hosts Rammies managed to put their A and B teams through.
The other two teams to qualify were Otjiwarongo A and Swallows A. In the final, Ramblers A had the better chances in a tight encounter against Swallows A and emerged 2-0 winners. In the penalty shoot-out for 3rd place Otjiwarongo had the better nerves and won against the Ramblers second strings.
Instead of medals, all participating players in the U-7, U-9 and U-11 age groups received certificates, while in the U-13 age category, 12 teams from Windhoek, Swakopmund, Otjiwarongo, Rosh Pinah and Upington played for the 4 tickets for the semis in a 9-a-side modus.
Imawida and Celtic lost their semifinal games and had to go to for a penalty shootout for the 3rd place playoff where the seasiders succeeded over SKW. The final between Ramblers A and Otjiwarongo ended in a one-all stalemate and the outcome had to be decided with the dreaded penalty shootout. The hosts won 4-3 to raise the Martin Krafft Cup for the first time.
Eight teams competed in the U-15 age group that saw Rammies and Swakopmund reach the final. Again, the hosts dominated most of the game and easily won the tie 2-0. For the 3rd successive tourney, the Ramblers U-15’s did not concede a single goal in the normal game time. In the penalty shootout for 3rd place, SKW A beat Celtic FC.
The U-17’s and girls played at the Delta School field. In the U-17 final, SKW enjoyed the upper hand over traditional rivals Ramblers and won the cup, while Spartans claimed bronze in a penalty shootout against the visiting Mzansi United. Imawida girls won their section – leaving hosts DSSW and WHS to pick up the pieces for 2nd and 3rd places respectively.