Academy Grooming Potential Stars

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Established with the main aim to identify young Namibian players of exceptional quality and for the development of soccer excellence in the country, the Collin Benjamin Soccer Academy (CBSA) has reported positive progress since its coming to existence last year. Administrator of the CBSA, Jakes Amaning, last week indicated that since its coming to fruition during the first half of 2005, the academy today coaches 50 under-15 players, 35 under-17 and 25 under-13 players. With the World Cup coming to South Africa in the year 2010, Amaning says intense training of the under-17s is done with four training sessions scheduled every week while the under-15s and under-13s train twice per week. “Though these are still babies, the future for Namibian soccer is promising,” stated the administrator. In the same way, Collin Benjamin, one of Namibia’s most successful international players recently visited his academy and expressed satisfaction with the training process. He stated, “The academy is doing well, it is promising, and the enthusiasm is there.” However, Amaning announced that training sessions for the next few weeks would be reduced to enable the upcoming soccer players to prepare for their school examinations. Meanwhile, Old Mutual Namibia announced the first two local winners of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The two winners, Namene Aipinge and Neli Tjahikika, were presented with return tickets to Germany. They will leave on Wednesday, and return on Tuesday next week. While in Germany, the two will attend a home match of Hamburger Sport Verein, which is Benjamin’s current team. They will further have a weekend hosted by Collin Benjamin at his residence in Hamburg and the two will also be accompanied by an NBC crewmember to document this historic experience, Old Mutual Group Schemes Executive Dantago //Hoabeb said. At the same occasion, Old Mutual Namibia handed over a cheque of N$ 30 000 to the academy. This amount is meant to assist the academy to stay afloat by taking care of day-to-day administration expenses, payment of the training field, some allowances for the coaches and to contribute towards the transportation of players living far on the outskirts of Katutura. “This marks the highlight of our association with the Collin Benjamin Soccer Academy. We have been assisting the academy with various basic requirements since its inception and have every intention to ensure that its purpose…is taken to its reality,” assured //Hoabeb.