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Home / Clubs should emulate Stars – Mannetti… will guarantee development of Namibian football

Clubs should emulate Stars – Mannetti… will guarantee development of Namibian football

2023-05-31  Correspondent

Clubs should emulate Stars – Mannetti… will guarantee development of Namibian football

Maqonda Ndlovu


Seasoned football coach Ricardo Mannetti says his one-season stay at African Stars as director of football was a big learning curve for him.

Speaking to New Era Sport on Tuesday, Mannetti said while the job of director of football is relatively new in Namibia, it will soon become popular for football clubs that want to be professionally run.

Mannetti, who helped Stars lift the 2022/23 Debmarine Namibia Premiership trophy earlier this month, said his duty was to ensure the vision of the board of directors speaks to that of the technical team and vice-versa.

“I worked with the senior men’s technical team, the academy and the directors, and dealt with daily administration of the club,” he explained.

The 2015 Council of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) winning coach said while he brought his expertise to the club, he also learned a lot, especially from African Stars Football Club manager Lesley Kozonguizi.

“I learned a lot from Kauta (Patrick) and Gazza (Salomo Hei) too; their dedication, professionalism and passion for Stars are unmatched. They work hard behind the scenes in pushing the Stars brand to the next level. Many club administrators can learn a lot from these two,” said Mannetti, a former Brave Warriors coach. 

He added the position was an eye-opener for him as someone who had never played for Stars, noting that he did not expect the warm welcome and support he received from everyone involved with the club.

The former national team midfielder said working with a new, young, vibrant and brave coach in Marvin Mbakera also gave him an insight into modern-day coaching in the star-studded team, which had many national team players.

“It is not always easy to work with the kind of players Stars currently have. Most of them have so much international experience; they are literally stars in their own right. Managing them and keeping them happy is a huge challenge that needs to be delicately handled. But we, as a club, managed that very well,” Mannetti added.

He was, however, sad that he will not be part of the African Safari experience with Stars, adding that he feels the team will become part of the African Champions League regulars if they continue in the current trajectory.

Choosing not to disclose why he left after only one season, Mannetti said he will pronounce himself in the near future, as negotiations for a new project are nearing conclusion.

“I will definitely continue with football – not in a coaching capacity, but more in my current position as chief operations officer, director of coaching or technical advisor.”

Asked what advice he has for Stars, he said they need two or three players in key positions, adding “Mbakera and his technical team know which ones, and I am confident he will sign the right players”.

He concluded by urging Namibian clubs to follow Stars’ way of doing things, as this will guarantee competitive development of football in Namibia, which, in turn, will make the Brave Warriors competitive.

His views were echoed by Hei, Stars’ executive director, who said Mannetti had met his objectives while at Stars.

“He is one of the most knowledgeable coaches in the country at the moment. It was important for us to get someone like him. We needed someone who has been there before and succeeded,” Hei said.

He said, currently, the club is considering its options and will consult Mbakera on the way forward. Hei said if the need arises to bring in someone to replace Mannetti, they will get a person who shares the same values and vision as the club.

2023-05-31  Correspondent

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