New season, new coach
With the new season comes new coaches and three premier league teams have signed on new faces.
Ali Akan was signed by African Stars last week while Tigers FC has taken up Bobby Samaria with Civics FC picking up Jerry Zimmerman.
Akan who has been signed for one year says his new job will be no easy walk in the park, which requires planning and a goal-oriented mindset.
The Turkish-born Akan who has coached most of the country’s top flight football league clubs thus far is, however, confident that he will ace the expectations of Stars’ fans.
Although African Stars is arguably the club with the largest support-base, it ended last season in third place with 35 points after recording 10 wins, five draws and six losses.
But it is notable that Stars is no ordinary team as they won the MTC/NPL 2008/09 and 2009/10 premiership titles and the new coach acknowledges that the expectations and stakes are high to get the boys back to the top.
The coach who got his Namibian citizenship in 2011, told The Villager Sports that although it is going to be tough, he has the expertise and knowledge to ensure the team clinches the 2012/13 premiership title.
“My mandate is to have African Stars crowned the champions and in doing so, we need to play good football; meaning that players must put in 100% commitment in the goals and objectives of the club, to be successful at the end of the season,” stressed Akan.
The coach admits that all clubs will have nothing on their mind but the N$1m prize money throughout the season but his target will go beyond that; tackling football in all the 22 Premier League encounters.
“There is really no point in applying defensive football but I guarantee you that there will be changes but first, old and new players have to report for a two-week training session that will take place very soon to ascertain the quality of players we have,” he said adding that the renewal of the one-year contract will solely depend on his performance with the team during the upcoming season.
Unconfirmed rumours are making the rounds that former African Stars’ great, Oscar ‘Silver Fox’ Mengo, will work as a technical adviser while the position of assistant coach is yet to be filled.
Akan undoubtedly boasts an elaborate coaching career having coached teams such as the current defending champions, Black Africa, Blue Waters, Ramblers, Tigers, Civics and Orlando Pirates way back in the early 1990s.
The triple championship winner won the elite league trophy with Black Africa, Blue Waters and Civics while he briefly coached City Pillars and FC AK in the South African Mvela Golden League.
Akan also had a coaching stint with the Hardap Region under-20 football side in 2005 for The Namibian Newspaper Cup and won it in 2006.
He also served as a technical advisor to the Brave Warriors against Morocco in the goalless draw here in the capital.
Tigers FC has Bobby Samaria’s signature for two seasons which include the 2013/14 football season.
Samaria is the former head coach of African Stars where he won the league in two successive seasons in 2008/2009 and 2009/2010.
Tigers FC Marketing Officer Thobias Akwenye said the Executive will give the necessary support to Samaria to ensure the success of the club.
He said Samaria is a success story both as player and coach.
The dynamite head coach will be assisted by Dino Ballotti while former NPL administrator Mario Carrera will form part of the technical staff.
Civics FC has appointed Jerry Zimmerman as head coach after having been assistant coach to Christy Guruseb who is reportedly now with Orlando Pirates FC.
Civics Team Manager Paul Stramis confirmed Zimmerman’s appointment to The Villager Sports.
“We have appointed Zimmerman who will take charge of the team. There is no specification in terms of how many seasons he will be with the club as all depends on his performance,” said Stramis.
He added that Civics FC will kick off with its off season training officially on 6 August at the Concordia College.