Brave Warriors inspirational skipper and Katutura glamour football club African Stars’ midfield general Ronald ‘Stigga’ Ketjijere is a worried man.
The former Amatuks midfielder is gravely troubled by his compatriots’ lack of regular game time or rather inability to break into their respective clubs’ starting line-up in Africa’s richest football league, the much adored South African Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The soft-spoken Ketjijere, a law graduate from the University of Tswane (Pretoria) is very much concerned and has expressed dismay and dissatisfaction over the Namibian foreign legion plying their trade in the rainbow nation.
“I’ve been keenly following our players’ progress in the PSL since I left at the beginning of the current term but I must confess I’m extremely disappointed by their non-appearance.”
So far, Golden Arrows acrobatic dreadlocked shot stopper Max ‘Slimkat’ Mbaeva is the only Namibian footballer that sees a lot of game time in South Africa.
“It’s a very sad situation – I spoke to Chris Katjiukua earlier this week and asked him whether he is injured or what could his conspicuous absence be attributed to and what the boy told me does not augur well.
“Chris told me he has been training hard and is currently injury-free but for some strange reasons the coach does not pick him for the match day squad nor does he gets selected for the Multichoice Diski league (second strings).”
The likes of goalkeeper Virgil Vries, Wangu Batista Gome, Pikes Shalulile and Benson ‘Styles’ Shilongo barely feature for their respective clubs while veteran striker Henrico Botes appears to have rediscovered his touch with former club Platinum Stars.
“It’s very sad because if they don’t play regular competitive football their fitness levels will drop and this could have serious repercussions for the Warriors should they be called up for national duty.”
The calculated articulate law graduate could not resist a parting shot at the Namibia Premiership bosses, whom he blamed for stalling progress as a result of their failure to solicit sponsorship for league activities to get underway.
“It’s pointless now to start pointing fingers but one can’t also turn a blind eye to the amateurish shoddy fashion in which the league is being administered.
“The buck stops with the top echelons in the NPL – they took hopelessly long to engage sponsors in round table negotiations – as a result, potential other sponsors could not come on board at the eleventh hour.” Katjijere is urging football authorities to adjust their outdated marketing strategy.
“They should engage government, clubs and schools to market football because as it stands, our football is poorly marketed.”