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April to breathe life into Namib Woestyn

2024-01-12  Eveline de Klerk

April to breathe life into Namib Woestyn

WALVIS BAY - Namib Woestyn, one of Namibia’s oldest sports clubs, is on the brink of an exhilarating revival.

Despite the political turmoil, the club enticed football followers through the turnstiles with their exciting brand of football, earning the admiration of neutral fans wherever the team featured. 

Some of the founding members continued the legacy through generations until it became dormant.

Surviving founders and former players of the club have come together to reunite and revive the team.

They gave one of Namibia’s successful football agents, Collin April, the mandate to lead the revival of one of the oldest teams in Namibia.

The club produced the likes of Daito and Manne Hagedoorn, Haban Adams, Axarob Doeseb, Straal Auchumeb, Samuel Thaniseb, Jim Jod, Eddy Cloete, Akino Garoeb and Lala Lombard, who, up to this day, are hailed as legendary football players in the history of the domestic game.

In a thanksgiving ceremony held for the surviving club members and supporters, April expressed desire to steer the team to mainstream football to become a leading club in the country that provides opportunities for players of all ages, genders, and backgrounds and creates the best possible environment to inspire the stars of the future.

“I want to use the team to connect not only the community but for it to become a legacy of everyone who has been part of it since its founding in 1954, regardless of age, gender, background, or ability”. 

Adding to that, through the club, he also wants to promote both junior and senior involvement in the club, looking at mentorship and youth development. Actively promoting junior, youth, and senior participation for men and women.

“With the elders’ blessing and the support of the community, my dream is to bring this team back where it belongs. I was very emotional on Saturday when the elders came together and made this decision, but I am happy that they have trusted me with this responsibility,” he said.

According to April, they also purchased the Henties Bay football club last year, which is playing in the Erongo second division, and they plan to rename it Namib Woestyn. Samuel Thaniseb, a former player of the team, said the coming together was significant for them to reflect on the achievements of the team and how they can revive and capture the history of the team.

“Despite the political and apartheid turmoil, the love for soccer was unique. I remember some of the players being locked up; I remember how we would take the train to play in Tsumeb,” said Thaniseb, who was wearing the number three jersey for the team.

According to him, this was not just a club but a family and home where we all had a sense of belonging, and they wanted that legacy to continue. Also going back in memory lane, Jim Jod said the team’s rich history makes it worthy of continuing its legacy.

“I am happy that we have reached this stage; I want to applaud April for leading this team. I want to urge everyone who has a history and a link to the team to support April in reviving it so that our children also have a team that they can freely join,” Jod appealed.

2024-01-12  Eveline de Klerk

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