When former Beatles frontman Paul McCartney penned the lyrics of the hit song ‘Blue Bird’, the iconic Liverpudlian must have had former Blue Waters Football Club’s tough-tackling defensive midfielder Magnus Vanoi Amadhila in mind. The symbol of the Bluebird as the harbinger of happiness is found in many cultures, and once a person is a Blue Bird, love and loyalty flow like water in a river.
In fact, Bluebird is interpreted as a metaphor for the transcendent power of love and the liberation of the human spirit from mental and physical constraints. Amadhila’s undying love and affection towards boyhood team Blue Waters, knew no boundaries. Such was his fighting spirit and unquestionable dedication that he was always prepared to die on the field with his boots on, fighting for his beloved Blue Bird. Amadhila was a valuable squad member of the all-conquering Birds side, under the stewardship of shrewd Zimbabwean member Shepherd Murape at the dawn of Namibia’s independence in 1990. New Era Sport caught up with the now-retired easy-going slippery fullback, as he takes you – our esteemed reader – through his long and winding football journey that saw him represent his boyhood team with pride and distinction.
Just like many young boys his age at the time, teenage footy Magnus Vanoi Amadhila’s dream was to break into his boyhood team Blue Waters’ first team as soon as he can.
Though he was born in the coastal town of Walvis Bay, on the banks of the freezing Atlantic giant Ocean, Amadhila only started playing organised football with hostel team Golden Bees during his school days at the revered Augustineum secondary school in Windhoek.
He was amongst the new generation of an enthusiastic group of highly-gifted young footballers who ushered the Birds into a new era shortly after Namibia attained her long-awaited unavoidable independence from the much-despised South African apartheid regime in 1990.
The hard-tackling stocky midfielder was fortunate enough to go through the magical hands of astute Zimbabwean mentor Shepherd Murape. The former Zimbabwean international arrived in Namibia to take over the reins as Brave Warriors head coach before jumping ship to turn the Kuisebmond outfit into unplayable opponents.
Under his watch, the energised youthful Birds outfit comfortably brushed their opponents aside with eye catching performances in the newly-formed national topflight football league.
Young Amadhila formed the spine of the smooth sailing ship of Omeya’s engine room, marshalling proceedings in the middle of the park, alongside the equally hard working Alphons Fonso Hangara, Ephraim Shozi, aka Mdota Martin, Oly Tjizumaue, Sandro de Gouveia, and the free scoring Angolan import Armando Pedro.
Some of his celebrated teammates in the youthful squad were no-nonsense defender Dawid Chicken Kasaona, Hellao Naruseb, Phello Muatunga Jr, and evergreen overlapping fullback Dokkies Theodor.
Always calm under pressure, Amadhila was a very intelligent athlete fitted with a big engine, phenomenal anticipation, reasonable speed and excellent reader of the game. In addition, the boy was a damn tough tackler who always tightly marked marauding strikers out of the game.
The tireless young fullback guided the rejuvenated Birds to astonishing top accolades that included the lucrative Namibia Football Association (NFA) Cup, a pair of BP Top 8 Trophies, and the Metropolitan Cup, in addition to the coveted national league title, ultimately paving the way for continental participation.
Amadhila represented his native land with Blue Waters in the Caf Club Champions League preliminaries. The coastal giants surprised friend and foe when they reached the second round after dispatching Swaziland’s Eleven Men in Flight over two legs, only to stumble against Angolan giants Primeiro de Agosto.
Amadhila enjoyed a stellar stint with the Beautiful Birds during his four-year reign between 1996 and 1999, before jumping ship to join Katutura outfit Tigers in
After a short spell with Ingwe, the calculated midfielder left for Cape Town on work commitments before returning to his motherland, only to resurface in the Southern coastal town of Lüderitz.
“Unfortunately, I was a fisherman spending most of my precious time at sea, and could thus no longer play competitive football,” said Amadhila.
Despite his abbreviated promising football career, the former Blue Waters midfielder still holds fond memories of his amazing somewhat short-lived football journey.
“Eish...I must confess, I was very fortunate to have joined Blue Waters at the time when the team was enjoying a good run, winning a sizable number of major trophies whilst competing fiercely for each and every silverware on offer, including the coveted league title.”
Amadhila cited the trident of former Brave Warriors greats Lolo Goraseb, Ricardo Mannetti and Congo Hindjou as his toughest opponents. He also cherishes his selection for the Brave Warriors Shadow team.
Unlike many of his peers in the football family who have unfortunately fallen on bad times after hanging up their togs, the calculated Vanoi, kept his tiny feet firmly on the ground and has bravely ventured into the dog-eat-dog industry of livestock farming.