Ewaldt Hoeseb: The striker with the Midas touch

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OTJIWARONGO – Commeth the hour Commeth the man – Hoeseb was one of the most dangerous strikers this country has ever produced pre- and post-Independence and could easily walk blindfolded straight into the national senior team, the Brave Warriors, had it not been for the wisdom of football politics in domestic football.

Born in the north-eastern town of Outjo in 1970, young Hoeseb started playing football at primary school while hardly out of his pair of shorts. He also excelled on the athletics track showing his competitors a clean pair of heels in the short sprints 100m, 200m and the 200-metre hurdles.

Since his formative years at the Petrus Ganeb High School in Uis, he would demonstrate amazing talent way belying his tender age and seldom left the playing field without scoring a goal or two.

He also played for local team Imcor Chiefs (Uis) and quickly established himself as your kind of rare strikers. Hoeseb went on to score dozens of goals from junior level up to the senior stage and it was not strange that his hometown club, Pubs United, came calling for his signature.

He also represented the Northern Regional Invitational Youth Football team on several occasions with great aplomb.
Off the field, he was a respectful bloke who could not even harm a fly but on the pitch the silent assassin was a menace to many defenders as he continued to rattle the net at will with a monotony that was sickening to his opponents. At Pubs, his teammates included football greats such as Orlando Haraseb, Mike Claasen and elder brother Lamola Gaeseb.

On recommendation by his old school buddy Eric Hansen, Hoeseb left Pubs and joined the newly established Namibian Police Football Club (NamPol) in Windhoek, with whom he excelled, scoring crucial goals to keep the league rookies in the business.

He was snapped up by the smooth-talking former NFA President Imms Namaseb, who persuaded him join forces with Challengers FC but he just lasted one full season before jumping the sinking ship to seek greener pastures with the more settled Orlando Pirates.
While at Challengers, he was tormenting robust defenders apart with his amazing dribbling skill while his near faultless performance for the league strugglers was enough to convince the big teams that the raw boy from Etoshapoort Township was indeed the real deal.

His inevitable arrival in top-flight football coincided with Namibia’s Independence. So it was only a fitting tribute that the lanky striker was drafted into an Invitational side featuring in an exhibition match pitted against European giants, Spartak Moscow from Russia, in 1990.
In that squad, the boy from Outjo was to rub shoulders with football’s legends led by the great Jomo-Troublemaker- Sono, Karl-Heinz Rummenige, Hector Camacho and the crème de la crème of local footballers – certainly an accolade to be engraved among his well-decorated medal collections.

His exploits on the football pitch in the black and white strip of Pirates did not go unnoticed. Hoeseb was duly rewarded with selection to the Brave Warriors side under the mentorship of Peter Uberjahn in 1995.

The free-scoring striker made his debut for his native land in a crucial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against continental powerhouse Ivory Coast, at what was then dubbed the “Slaughter House” – the Windhoek Independence Stadium – the same year.

He netted on his debut, propelling the Warriors to a historic 2-1 victory over the much-fancied Elephants. In the meantime, South African glamour football club Kaizer Chiefs got wind of the emerging Namibian goal machine and duly obliged by inviting the free-scoring striker to Naturena for trials in Jo’burg.

Though he came through the trials unscathed with Chiefs ready to table a contract, the often-wayward striker dug his heels and never bothered to return to the bright lights of Egoli.

“To be quite honest, I was not exactly comfortable having to live in Jozi. To worsen matters, my parents were very much against the idea of me relocating to a foreign country and having to be exposed to a totally new culture,” recalls the silent assassin without any grain of regret.
Initially recruited to fill the big boots vacated by outgoing and ageing fast as lightning lethal goal-poacher Bandi Namseb, the soft-spoken striker went on to form a telepathic partnership in a three-pronged strike force alongside Steven Damaseb and veteran sharp-shooter Ben Gaseb.

With the late Ou Les Goagoseb supplying the ammunition with telling passes from the middle of the park ably assisted by the ball trickery of midfield genus Buruxa Boois, Hoeseb made it his sole beat to bamboozle bemused defenders always cutting through them with the precision of a seasoned butcher.

He says he considered himself extremely lucky not to have played against his former teammate Salathiel Ndjao, whom he describes as the most fearless and complete defender he has ever seen. He still has great admiration for the tireless Goagoseb.

“It was always a marvel to watch and probably a godsend blessing playing alongside Ou Les because he possessed this funny knack of knowing exactly how to split tight defences with his unpredictable passes.”

As time went by, Hoeseb sent shockwaves among the Ghosts diehards when he left the Buccaneers in a hush to join coastal rivals Blue Waters. However, his romance with the sea-siders lasted just three matches before he quit the game – only to resurface in his adopted town Otjiwarongo, where he has since settled down up to this day.

The former lethal goal poacher is married to his lovely spouse Anne-Marie and is the proud father to seven children that include two sons.

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