Let’s all swallow our pride and applaud Tigers’ management for having introduced motivational incentives for their playing personnel in their quest to achieve optimal results.
It’s an understatement to conclude that Ingwe has moved up a gear in terms of professionalism and performance – an improvement that one can attribute to sound management and careful planning, rather than to natural regression to mean.
Ignoring regression to mean can have destructive consequences, such as management concluding that a change of playing personnel would have solved the club’s inability to live up to its ambitions and profile.
When the club management resolved to effect changes within the technical staff, following the unceremonious departure of head coach Bobby Samaria at the beginning of the current term, the media – including the author – pounced on the men in blue suits in Shandumbala, seriously questioning their principles.
Yours truly for one felt a great pity for newly appointed gaffer Brian Isaacs, who was given the unthinkable mandate to dethrone African Stars in his debut season.
Well, it’s now a well-documented secret that yours truly took it upon himself to castigate Tigers’ management as I then believed the club was punching above its weight, while doubting the wisdom of my old buddy, Brian, for accepting such a far-fetched and audacious challenge.
Now, the fundamental question that needs to be raised is: how on earth did the brother manage to perform so brilliantly with such limited resources, in comparison to both African Stars and Black Africa?
The pair have been dominating the MTC Premiership for a considerate period, making the coveted league title a two-horse race, which effectively rendered the country’s flagship league a one-sided and rather boring affair, so to speak.
In terms of quality in playing personnel, the club did not make wholesale changes, with the silky midfielder, Image Isaaks, reliable defender Ferdinand Karongee, and lethal striker Mapenzi Munavei as the most notable names added to an average squad compliment.
Losing the likes of prolific burly striker Kaka Nekundi, agile shot stopper Loydt Kazapua and versatile Zimbabwean playmaker Protash Kambwe – was always going to be an insurmountable assignment to negotiate.
Nevertheless, against all odds stacked against them Tigers managed to weather the storm and silence the Doubting Thomasses to claim a first league title in post-Independence Namibia.
The club last laid their hands on the elusive league title when it claimed the crown in the maiden season of the breakaway Namibia Super Soccer League (NSSL) in 1985.
In short, one is obliged to evaluate the astonishing performance of Ingwe in this way: the management certainly played a key role in identifying the right man for the job in the shape of multiple title winning coach Brian Isaacs.
Talk about chemistry. For those who might not be aware of Brian’s connection to the club, he is the biological son of the deadly former Tigers’ forward, late Ferdinand Akwenye, who masterminded Tigers’ good fortunes during the club’s most successful era in the 60s and 70s.
His blood was always going to remain blue and white, and despite the fact he did not have the opportunity to follow in his dad’s footsteps by donning the club’s blue and white strip – the prodigal son has certainly paid his dues.
As matters stand, Brian Isaacs is the most decorated football coach in Namibian history, having won the coveted league title six times with three different clubs – certainly a magnificent feat.
In conclusion, Kudos to the entire Tigers management for their perseverance, and more importantly, man of the moment Brian Isaacs for re-writing the history books by becoming the first coach to win the league title with three different clubs, including a record-breaking four back-to-back triumphs with Black Africa.
I rest my case.