Zenatha Coleman, the Gladiators’ attacking mid-field player, regrets giving much of her time to soccer at the expense of school.
But the small-built 17-year old JS Academy newly signed player who is now making up for lost school time at NamCol still believes that soccer is her future.
“Failing Grade 10 was the lowest moment in my life. I was disappointed with myself,” she tells me when we met at the Soccer House.
The shy Zenatha who started playing soccer in 2006 at a Keetmanshoop school fingers her grandfather, Johannes Coleman, former Orlando Pirates player as her chief mentor and advisor on football matters.
Jacqui Shipanga, the national coach says that they spotted Zenatha when she was just 14 years old playing in Keetmanshoop.
“She was playing for the Karas regional team and we called her to come and train with the national squad,” Shipanga, who describes Zenatha as extremely talented with great technical ability and tactical awareness.
The down-to-earth girl was then roped in the under 17 team and made seven international appearances during which she scored one goal.
Her next call-up was for the under 20 where she played 11 games and scored five goals.
Zenatha remembers the game against Swaziland during the Zone Six under 20 games in the Mountain Kingdom in 2009.
“That was my most memorable game so far. It was when I scored my first goal for Namibia,” she says happily.
She, however, says their loss to Nigeria by nine goals to one on aggregate last month during the Olympic qualifiers is still a nightmare.
“They were better than us but we’ll get there one day and we’ll beat them,” she says.
Although they lost, Zenatha says it was a very big lesson to her, “Nigerians are stronger and faster while we can play, and we were not good enough. Nigerians have been in the game longer than us.”
Apart from passing her Grade 10, Zenatha hopes that one day she will turn out for an overseas team.
And she might not have to wait too long to have a crack at her dream as she has been invited for trials by the 5th division league team Borrusia Bocholt for a month in the Westphalia, Germany.
“I’m excited and looking forward to the trials. I hope to do well,” she says.