Just months after leading Katutura glamour football club African Stars to their first league title after a trophy drought stretching over four years, head coach Woody Jacobs has developed itchy feet.
The youthful coach, who transformed Stars into fearless opponents and one of the most entertaining teams in the country’s flagship league, the MTC Premiership, dropped a bombshell yesterday.
In no uncertain terms, Jacobs informed New Era Sport via SMS that he has resolved to relinquish his coaching position at the country’s best-supported football club.
His sudden departure comes as a shock after he recently committed his future to the club, promising to go all out to retain the coveted MTC Premiership title.
“My decision to quit is based on the fact that I’m convinced that I have reached the end of my tether at this point in time, and can’t see how I will take the team further. I feel I’m no longer the right man for the job and would therefore like to thank club management for having given me the opportunity to mentor a team of Stars’ magnitude,” said an emotional Jacobs.
The gaffer also expressed his appreciation to the club’s diehards, thanking them wholeheartedly for their unwavering support and undying passion.
“Their unbelievable support and massive appetite for the game has always encouraged and driven me to greater heights – ultimately leading to the overall success of the team.”
Jacobs was going into his third season with the Reds after succeeding multiple award-winning coach Ali ‘Mr Fix It’ Akan in the 2013/2014 campaign.
He steered the club to the Bidvest Cup triumph in only his first season and went a step further the following term – wrestling the coveted league title away from eternal rivals Black Africa last season.
Pressed to shed light on Jacobs’ departure, a clearly stunned Stars chairman Patrick Kauta was quick to remind the defector that he was still under contract with the club until the end of the about-to-start season and by walking away in such manner would amount to a breach of contract.
“We received a communication from Woody, informing us about his decision to resign. He gave two months’ notice, which we obviously fail to digest as to how it would pan out. Nevertheless, we had learnt through reliable sources that he already signed up with a rival club last Friday, so his departure did not come as a surprise at all,” confirmed the legal practitioner.
However, insiders with intimate knowledge of the debacle claim Jacobs’ acrimonious exit has nothing to do with football related matters and was rather hastened by a disagreement with club officials over bonuses.
The mole revealed to New Era Sport that Jacobs was infuriated by the club’s ostensible refusal to avail a certain percentage to the players and technical staff, derived from the recently concluded lucrative Dr Hage Geingob Cup.
Both Stars and Julihno were the proud recipients of a handsome N$350 000 apiece and while Julihno paid their players N$6 000 each from the windfall – Stars would not budge, claiming that such an agreement is nowhere inserted in their employment contracts.
Some of the players who spoke to New Era Sport, on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, aired their disgust and dismay over the club’s apparent unwillingness to part ways with some of the monies generated from the Geingob spectacle.
The disgruntled bunch feel gravely shortchanged and threatened to walk out of the club should management persist in their hardcore stance not to release a single cent and remunerate them accordingly.