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Personality of the week - Pat-Nevin Zeriueza Uanivi

2021-02-25  Staff Reporter

Personality of the week - Pat-Nevin Zeriueza Uanivi
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Date of Birth:         17 April 1987 
Place of Birth:      Windhoek
Marital Status:     Single
Nickname:         Petit
Car/s:             Nissan Tiida
Current club:         African Stars FC
Previous Clubs:     Manchester United 
            (First Division)
Position:         Central Defender

Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk or Vincent Kompany: Vincent Kompany
Alessandro Nesta, Fabio Cannavaro or Cafu: Fabio Cannavaro
Quinton Jacobs, Rudi Louw or Robert Nganjone: Rudi Louw
Norrie Kaanjuka, Ricardo Mannetti or Bobby Samaria: Bobby Samaria
Liverpool, Man United or Arsenal: Arsenal
Nike, Adidas or Puma: Adidas
Braai meat or Poitjie kos: Braai meat

Career achievements: Winning four Namibia Premier League (NPL) titles, five NFA Cups, two Standard Bank Super Cups, one Standard Bank Top-8 Cup and one NPL League Cup. I have also made three senior national team appearances, six U/23 appearances and 14 U/20 appearances.

Favourite local or international footballers? I have two and both are locals, its Ronald ‘Stiga’ Ketjijere and Peter Shalulile.

Favourite football club/s: African Stars, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid
Your most memorable match: African Stars against Orlando Pirates during the 2007 NFA Cup final and also Brave Warriors against Madagascar during the 2021 African Nations Championship (CHAN) first leg qualifier. 

Your toughest match: It was a 2006 league match between African Stars and Blue Waters, I was playing right-back and had the task of closing down the left side of Blue Waters, I had to deal with four left-footers in Getzen Ndjiharine, Sidney Plaatjies, Maraai Swartbooi and Movable Naruseb. It was hell that 
Biggest career disappointment: Missing a penalty in the MTC/NFA Cup final against Civics in 2008. We lost the game.

Biggest influence on your career: My father...following in his footsteps was never easy. Everybody speak highly of him and during my early years with Stars, he would criticise me when I had a bad game. He is an African Stars great himself, so it was never easy.

If not football, which other sport would you have chosen? Athletics, I was good at 400m and 800m races at school.

Either at club or national team level, who is the one player you most enjoy or enjoyed playing with? The now retired Andrew Tjahikika, it was a joy playing with him at Stars. It was a great partnership we had, very good understanding as well. We knew each other’s weaknesses and strengths. So, we were always covering up each other’s weaknesses. 

Since retiring from national duty with the Brave Warriors after this year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN), you are now technically and strategically involved with African Stars FC junior sides. Are you slowly embarking on a new career path as a coach, or is it simply just you ploughing your experience back into the club? Currently, I’m with African Stars development team and I’m also the second assistant coach of the senior team. I have passion for coaching, I want to be a coach of African Stars one day. But for now, I’m learning and it’s great to learn on the job. I’m very grateful to African Stars for providing me with this platform and opportunity.

You started and finished your career on a high note, especially with the various national teams, but many pundits feel that you were never really accorded the deserved game-time with the Brave Warriors as most would have liked. Why do you think that was? Being at one club helped me settle in very well in Namibian football. Since I joined Stars in 2004, everybody liked me and the players over the years helped me a lot. To comment on the national team, we have to understand that every coach has his plan, his philosophy and his understanding of football. Not every player will fit in every coach’s philosophy. So unlucky for me, I didn’t fit in the previous coaches’ plans maybe. I’m, however, grateful to coach Bobby Samaria who believed in me and gave me an opportunity to wear the national team jersey this year’s CHAN. Everything in life has it’s time and God’s timing is the best.

Tapping from your wealth of experience, what does Namibia need to do for our football to catch up with the rest of the world? We have so much talent in Namibia, but not much talent has been realized. We must try to groom our players at an early age and expose them while still young. Look at our U/20 national team, how many players are with the NPL teams? Maybe just three. Most of them are still with academies and we expect them to do well in Africa against teams with players that are already in Europe and some that are playing for their domestic clubs in their respective countries. It must be made compulsory for all NPL teams to have youth teams competing in the country. Teams must promote young players and play them while still 

Your ambitions for 2021 and beyond? I hope the league will kick off soon so that I can help African Stars win the league title. I want to help Stars built the next generation of players that will keep our club on top. So I’m looking forward to be working with the youth. There are some exciting young boys in Stars youth teams.

2021-02-25  Staff Reporter

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