Tribute to Frietzie Polster, the Predator 1947 – 1995

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Windhoek

He might be reunited with his ancestors as we relate this untold story of another football icon, but in real life Frietzie Poulster, popularly known as the master of the acrobatic trick (scissors kick), would execute the popular kick with ease at the slightest provocation often from throw-ins – that was Bra Frietzie for you.

Short and strongly built, Frietzie was your typical old-fashioned centre forward who used to harass and give robust defenders a torrid time with his never-say-die aggressive style.

He was your complete goal-getter and never pulled out of tough battles to the extent that he would often be seen at the rear end of the field defending corners and set pieces.

Frietzie’s style of play and physical appearance was a resemblance of the uncompromising trickery of former German World Cup winner and goal machine, Gerd Muller.

Back in the day, the lethal partnership of Frietzie and former Atlanta Chiefs and Kaizer Chiefs speedy winger Herman ‘Pele’ Blaschke at the now-defunct Khomasdal glamour football club, Thistles, used to be the envy of every football fan as the pair terrorized defenders with their attacking flair never seen in our neck of the woods in a long time.

Apart from the late Ellen van Harte and Pele, Frietzie was arguably among the finest Coloured/Baster footballers of all time. Testimony to his unequalled football pedigree was his inclusion in the very first black invitational eleven against their white counterparts in the historic exhibition match in 1975. Frietzie was the only Coloured in the squad.

It’s now a well-documented secret that this particular match eventually paved the way for the inevitable abortion of the skewed and much despised apartheid laws (though not in its entirety) by the South African apartheid regime.

In essence, all the brave men who put their bodies on the line in that particular clash of the titans (black and white) including Frietzie, played a significant role in the unintentional message that led to the long overdue abolishment of segregation of football leagues – ultimately leading to the amalgamation of domestic football on all fronts.

Although Frietzie and dribbling wizard //Noas Gariseb, aka //Nerab, were unused substitutes on that historic day in September 1975, their names and heroics will be permanently engraved in the golden pages of our archives.

In all honesty, each and every participant in that historic match that was to finally change the face of domestic football for good will be doubtlessly marked and remembered as the first crop of athletes that broke the chain of racial barriers.

A goal scorer of note, the energetic Frietzie was your typical Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard kind of footballer (a one team man) – he played all his football for the revered Khomasdal green and white outfit Thistles, until his retirement from the game.

Back in the day, Thistles ranked among the finest and most entertaining football teams in the business, competing on equal footing with the likes of Cape Cross, Orlando Pirates, Tigers, Wash Away, Juvenile, Black Africa, African Stars, Blue Waters, Etosha Lions, Young Standard and Namib Woestyn, to mention but a few.

Players like Bobby Sissing, Willy van Wyk, Reus Blaschke, Kiro Makati (Diergaardt), Edward ‘Nose’ Morgenroth and Dicky Hansen were all household names in Khomasdal football, but Frietzie stood head and shoulders above the rest – his inclusion in the star-studded SWA Invitational Eleven bears testimony to his goal-scoring prowess.

A prolific goal scorer of note, Frietzie rose to prominence in the late 60’s when the green and white stripped Thistles dominated local football. Thistles with Frietzie at the forefront were competing fiercely and held their own against their Katutura counterparts in many exhibition matches, including the popular knockout tournaments where the slick Khomasdalers always came out tops.

The then posh Khomasdal township used to be the Mecca of football – producing a significant number of great athletes. And while the likes of Kiro Makati, Allen van Harte and Nimrod Williams possessed admirable flair – Frietzie only knew one route and that was where the opposition’s goalposts were.

His amazing goal-scoring prowess, complemented by an amazing work rate, was a rare commodity in domestic football. He was the kind of striker who could easily notch up more than 60 goals in one single season.

Although his goals were not the kind of spectacular goals that would inspire spectators wanting more – Fritzie was a predator with a good chunk of his goals recorded from close range, in the form of opportunistic tap-ins and occasional well-executed diving headers, sandwiched by unsuspected quickly taken acrobatic kicks.

He might have taken leave from the game of life but his legacy will remain stuck in our minds forever. Bra Fritzie, may your soul rest in eternal peace, in one piece.

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