JulinhoÔÇÖs coach confident of survival
Rundu based football club Julinho F.C’s owner and coach, Nelson Luis is confident of his side’s survival in the upcoming MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPL), which is set to start on the 11th October.
“It is very important for us to survive in the first season. We know that it is not going to be easy in the league but we have players who can do the job for the club. I don’t want to anything promise now,” Luis told The Villager Sport.
Julinho’s survival ambitions will be tested in the their opening four matches against Tigers, Rebels, Black Africa and UNAM F.C previously known as Ramblers and to their advantage all four of their opening games are at home at the Rundu Sport Stadium.
Julinho’s opening match on the 11th October is against title contenders Tigers, before they take on Rebels on the 12th October and league title favourites and defending champions BA on the 18th October, before taking on UNAM F.C on the 19th October respectively.
Luis a former Namibia junior international in the 80s – along with the likes of Tigers coach Bobby Samaria and BA coach Brian Isaacs – said he is looking forward to come up against his former pals.
“I played with Samaria in the u/20 national team in the 80s when I was still playing for Ramblers. I also played with Isaacs in the u/16 national team and I am looking forward to face them.
“It will be good to come up against him. I also played with Brian Isaacs and Lucky Kakuva in the junior teams of the country,” said Luis who had been coach of Julinho since 2002.
Julinho becomes the third Rundu club after Cuca Tops (first division), Rundu Chiefs, which was relegated last season and United Stars to play in the country’s top league, after winning the Northern-East first division last season.
Who are Julinho?
Julinho Sporting FC was created in memory of Julio Luis, by his two sons Nelson and Norton Luis.
Hence the name Julinho, a term of endearment meaning little Julio. The late, Julio Luis was a well-known businessman and philanthropist who passed away in September 2000 and was survived by his wife, Berta Luis and two sons Nelson and Norton.
Julio had a great passion for soccer and it was for this reason that together with his sons they built the only Indoor soccer complex in the Kavango region, located on one of his premises in 1996.
Julio Luis together with his sons Nelson and Norton had started a local community team with the support from Sporting Clube de Portugal a multi sports club based in Portugal as Cola-Cola Sporting.
As many will remember Cola-Cola Sporting soon became the pride of the region as many youngster enjoyed the flair and skill the team boasted with its surprisingly young talent.
In essence Julinho Sporting F.C. is a re-creation of Cola-Cola Sporting and it is was with the same mentality that Nelson and Norton Luis created Julinho Sporting F.C, which upon its inception comprised mostly of students from a local school, Maria Mwengere Secondary School.
After nearly nine years in the second division, Julinho won promotion to the first division in the 2011/12 when they were pimped by United Stars for a place in the NPL before finally gaining promotion.
Meanwhile, Luis told The Villager that former Stars chairman John Paul is the new chairman at the club, adding that his position as owner will not interfere with the club’s board.
“Paul was our former player here and he is back home where he started. He is our chairman and is the one who will be calling the shots. I can be the owner but we have the community that will be making decision in the boardroom,” said Luis.
Luis also added that the club is busy in the market with the likes of former Rundu Chiefs captain and current sport officer of the Kavango Region, Erastu Someno heavily linked with the club.
“We are still busy negotiating with some few players but I don’t want to reveal them now because it is still premature. I am not sure about Someno because work commitments might not allow him to play. But it will be good to have him,” said Luis.
Luis has also tipped defending MTC/NPL champions Black Africa for the title.
“I don’t see any changes at the top. It will be the same with BA, African Stars, Tigers and Orlando Pirates for the title,” he said.