Don’t punch above your weight it’s no time for sentimentality and blind loyalty

So, after months of uncertainty as to whether our domestic topflight football league, the Namibia Premiership (NPL), will ever kick off � it's now almost a done and dusted deal that the country's elite football league will finally come out of its self imposed exile.

And while football supporters are anxiously waiting to watch their favourite teams in action, the focus will shift to two particular teams in the shape of league returnees Chief Santos and Life Fighters Football Clubs.

Both clubs boast a rich history in domestic football and their long overdue return to topflight football is awaited with bated breath.

And whilst the Copper Town lads have beefed up their squad with new recruits � it remains to be seen whether 'Okahirona', as the Orwetoveni outfit is affectionately known amongst its ardent supporters, will embark on the same journey as their northern counterparts or will loyalty determine the club's path.

Word fleeting from that neck of the woods is that there's an aura of animosity over the unavoidable recruitment of new playing personnel, including a change in guard in the area of the technical staff.

Without beating about the bush, gone are the days of sentimentality and blind loyalty and gone are the days when athletes would stick to boyhood teams. Nowadays, the game of football has become too commercial, serving as a means of survival for the toughest.

For starters, let me applaud my dear young friend Anton Kake for having single-handedly masterminded the inevitable return of 'Okahirona' to the elite league with limited resources, while running the whole operation literally from the boot of his car.

The club's return to familiar territory alongside old foes Chief Santos will without an iota of doubt add a new dimension to the 16-team league, as both clubs enjoy a huge following and their home games are likely to draw large crowds.

My humble advice and honest opinion to bro Anton and his henchmen is to forget about sentimentality and loyalty towards those who have weathered the storm during the team's struggles in the lower divisions.

Appoint a head coach with the appropriate expertise and premier league experience to steer the ship out of troubled waters, get rid of inexperienced playing personnel.

My dear bro, premier league football is a different kettle of fish, with lots of emphasis on technique and tactics, while players with big match temperament should be a prerequisite.

And before I sign off, did I hear that the league activities would start next month after the appointment of the NPL executive?

This weird announcement comes in the wake of the country's august football league having been on an enforced hiatus for over a year, so to speak.

It's still unclear as to what measures have been put in place to avoid a repeat of what transpired � leading to the withdrawal of the league's principal sponsor MTC and of course, what measures will be applied this time around to install preventative measures as opposed to the reactionary measures now at play.

One would have expected the powers that be at Football House to create a platform for constructive dialogue with all stakeholders in an effort to map the way forward. There is also the issue of logistics, drawing up league fixtures determined by availability of stadia, etc.

I rest my case.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia