Former Ramblers Football Club free scoring attacking midfielder Willy Fredericks, wears the kind of face that would not look out of place as an innocent kinder garten boytjie. The baby face retired lethal midfielder-cum-forward was kind of a journeyman during his formative years as a potential superstar – New Era Sports caught up with the smiling assassin…
WINDHOEK - A protégé of the now defunct exciting youthful Bethlehem (Khomasdal) outfit Manchester United FC the strongly built athlete with boyish looks was born Wilfred Fredericks in Namibia's commercial capital Windhoek on the 17th of March 1970.
As a toddler “Boeta Whacks”, as Willy was affectionately known amongst his vast circle of football buddies in the hood – juggled his childhood upbringing between Windhoek and Keetmanshoop.
Hardly out of his pair of shorts, Whacks started chasing leather with Pomtjies FC in the Southern (Kitmaro) capital before he retreated to his place of birth (Windhoek).
“We were a significant bunch of football crazy young boys and would now and then train with Civics FC but it was extremely difficult for us to break into starting line up – let alone in the match day squad,” recalls Willy.
“Our team enrolled in the round robin youth football league organized by the nearby Augustineum Secondary School back in the day.”
Whacks eventually got his big break in competitive football when he teamed up with fellow youngsters to call Arsenal FC into life.
The team was campaigning fiercely in the highly competitive Khomasdal league under the banner of the militant Central Namibia Football Association (CNFA) under the stewardship of Namibia’s undisputed football guru – the hippy-look-alike, Uncle Bob Sissing.
His next destination was ‘Kitmaro’ where he resurfaced at local Police outfit Nampol FC before jumping ship from the cops’ nest to join forces with the newly formed Manchester United FC.
Amongst the prominent squad members of the youthful club were; Lolo Goraseb, Emile Steyn, Rene Stephanus and the Willemse siblings Connie and Blaar.
It was while featuring for the Southern Invitational Youth team in the Metropolitan Cup in Windhoek that Willy was spotted by Orlando Pirates talent scouts.
“Coach Eric Muinjo persuaded me to join Pirates but after few practice sessions – I realized that it was going to be a tall order to get game time.
“ I decided to try my luck with Ramblers FC at the beginning of the 1991 campaign when the club was involved in marathon play off matches for a spot in the newly formed national elite football league.”
In the meantime, Boeta Whacks tasted international football when he was selected to represent his native land in the Cosafa Youth Cup hosted by Namibia in 1991.
He announced his arrival in topflight football with a 18 goals in his debut season and went step better when the Tunschell Street Boys claimed the coveted league title in 1992.
His amazing 22-goal tally inspired Ramblers to claim the elusive coveted trophy with subsequent qualification to the CAF Club Champions League.
Willy was in the starting line up when the gusty Rammies went down 2-1 in Maputo against Mozambican champions Costa Do Sol and also started in the decisive second leg, which ended goalless in Windhoek. He went onto enjoy unsurpassed success with the revamped multi racial Pionierspark outfit and was on the winNing side when Ramblers defeated the visiting PSL outfit Lightbody Santos, spearheaded by exciting young playmaker Sait Kamal at the packed to rafters Katutura stadium in a friendly match. Boeta Whacks also rubbed shoulders with some of the continent’s finest footballers when Ramblers engaged Portuguese outfit Inter Primrose FC, featuring former Orlando Pirates (PSL) deadly striker Pio Noqueira at the Germiston field, south of Johannesburg en route to Maputo, Mozambique. The match ended scoreless under floodlights.
And to crown a near perfect season, the soft spoken forward was the proud recipient of a silver medal when Rammies suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Katutura giants African Stars in the fiercely contested final of the prestigious Metropolitan Cup at Windhoek’s Independence stadium in 1993.
After five solid seasons with Rammies, it was time for a new challenge. Boeta Whacks relocated to the Southern town, Mariental where he joined Aimablaagte outfit Bee Bop Brothers FC (BBB) to wind up an otherwise flourishing football career. He retired in 2004 to concentrate on business.