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Golden Boot chase intensifies

2024-04-24  Limba Mupetami

Golden Boot chase intensifies

A fierce battle for the Golden Boot Award in the 2023/4 Debmarine Namibia Premiership has emerged between African Stars' Willy ‘Awillo’ Stephanus and Rewaldo Prins of Khomas Nampol.

With just one goal separating them, the competition is heating up as the league approaches its conclusion this weekend. 

Stephanus (32) has notched up an impressive 15 goals and 15 assists from 28 matches, while Prins (21) trails closely behind with 14 goals and seven assists from 22 matches.

Both players could bolster their goal tallies as their respective clubs gear up to face Orlando Pirates and Young Brazilian, respectively. 

However, Stephanus remains uncertain about his participation in the upcoming clash, sharing that their task was to retain the title.

“Now that we are done with the league, I might not play this weekend as we have shifted our focus to the Caf Championship League. So, it is up to my coach. If I get a chance to play, I will push for two more goals,” he said.

Stephanus, who also won the golden boot in the 2022/3 season, said the reason behind their success is because of the experience the team brings. However, he reflected on the challenges of the season and the competitive nature of matches, and acknowledged the impact newcomers like Nampol brought.

“It was very competitive. Matches that critics thought we would lose, we won. Teams really fought tooth and nail. Newcomers like Nampol gave us a run for our money. I really implore them to continue with the momentum,” said Stephanus.

He also spoke about the coaching changes the club went through: with the reins moving from Prince George Koffie to Mervin Mbakera, and then Ronnie Kanalelo.  

“This really affected my way of playing. With coach Koffie and Mbakera, I had a free role, that’s how I scored most of the goals. With Kanalelo, I play as the main forward, and playing alone upfront has its challenges.”

In addition, Stephanus said his club needs to build for the future. Explaining that there should be new blood to assist the more experienced senior players, he noted that some players played 180 minutes per weekend. 

“It takes a toll on the body. Management and the technical team should get extra players in various positions. That way, we will continue playing at a high level. 

However, I must really applaud our coach. He is a man who believes in young talent. He gave a lot of young players chances to play when he took over the reins of the club. So, the young guys must really use the chances wisely,” said Stephanus.

The player further implored young players to stay on the right track, keep discipline, and practice patience. 

“Be humble. Keep your feet on the ground. 

Don’t get excited. Stay away from bad substances. We are young and want to experience things, but alcohol and football don’t mix.” 

His rival, a man of few words Prins said he is confident that he will take the Golden Boot Award. He cited improvements from the previous season, where he only scored two goals, with five assists. 

“I didn’t play much last season, but this season was different. I am waiting for the last match, and I know I can increase my goals,” he added.

2024-04-24  Limba Mupetami

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