RIP Meester Jan Justin Xamiseb 1966 - 2019 …”Captain Fantastic”, takes a bow from the game of life
The entire football fraternity in particular Nomtsoub residents, awoke to the sad news about the sudden passing of one of the most likable athletes of all time. The untimely death of retired Chief Santos Football Club’s flying winger-cum-school principal, Jan Xamiseb came as a massive shock to many including the author. As fate would have it, the departed brother dropped me a line around about two weeks ago just check on my well-being, We engaged in a long discussion in which he aired his disappointment about the sorry state of affairs in domestic football, whilst expressing his desire to see the game return to normality in due course. A true gentleman of the game, on and off the field, Jan was a born leader and though his baby face and innocent looks would make people conclude the speedy winger can hardly harm a fly, his traditional ruthlessness in front of goal was in total contrast of his deceiving laid-back demeanour. Jan’s ability to outfox his markers, leaving them in the lurch was very much to do with his natural pace and being a sprinter of note during his school days, where the speed star excelled in both the football and athletic disciplines with distinction. In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sport feature Tales of the Legends, New Era Sport pays tribute to a true son of the soul.
TSUMEB – A proven prolific forward, the late Jan Justin Xamiseb, represented his native land with the South West Africa (SWA) Under-21 football team.
The speed star also gained national colours in athletics at the Namov organized athletics meeting in 1984, showing his competitors a clean pair of heels as he claimed two 1st place podium finishes in both the 400m and 800m races.
What Jan lacked in terms of skill was made up by devastating pace and great finishing, aided by amazing off the ball running and ability to create something out of nothing. This notwithstanding his incredible leadership ability, which came in handy for his young and relatively inexperienced teammates.
Born in the copper town Tsumeb in 1966, Jan started out with Nomtsoub outfit Rangers Football Club as a teenage striker making waves with a flurry of goals that announced him as a potential superstar.
As a raw youngster, Jan was destined to become a great athlete. In fact, his genes dictated that he would become an extraordinary athlete since his mother in her prime time was a noted netballer.
His late uncle Gabes Dausab, a former Rangers FC protégé, SWA Bantu Eleven regular starter who also enjoyed a short lived but successful stint with Katutura giants Black Africa.
Up to this day, Gabes ranks amongst the finest center backs to have walked local football pitches in a spotless football career that also saw him flourish with the untouchable St Joseph’s Secondary School (Dobra) football team.
Like many of his peers in the hood, the versatile all-rounder joined local outfit Chief Santos FC while hardly out of his pair of shorts and still a pupil at the Oshikoto Secondary School in his native Nomtsoub in 1984. He was among a number of youngsters that invaded the star-studded Santos’ first team, as the old guard faded away to make room for new blood.
Jan went onto oversee several generations at the Copper Town lads. His strict discipline obliged club management to reward him with the captain’s armband and he was subsequently selected for the Provincial national junior football team (Under-21) alongside fellow schoolteacher and teammate Player Wimmerth.
However, it was not until the annual Chamber of Commerce Mine Games that Jan really announced his arrival as a multi-talented athlete, excelling in both the middle distance races and football, winning a gold medal in both the 400m and 800m sprints in 1991.
His goal-scoring prowess propelled Santos to the league title triumph in only the 2nd edition of the National Premier League (NPL) in post-independent Namibia in 1991. Jan subsequently represented Namibia in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Club Champions League in the gold and green strip of his beloved Santos.
“Playing alongside midfield genius Naftalie Goraseb was great fun as his presence made me a much better footballer.
“Bra “Naf” exactly knew my strengths and could place the ball into open space - making it very easy for me to pick my spot before rattling the opposition’s net,” boasted the well-spoken and calculated school principal before his departure in an interview with New Era Sport a couple of years ago.
By his own admission, Jan wished one could turn back the clock and bring back the good old days when footballers put their bodies on the line for the love of, the game and undying loyalty for their beloved clubs.
“Football was like a religion among the black communities across all corners of the country since we all had the same thing in common, discipline, loyalty and competitiveness as well showing respect towards team management, supporters and the elders.”
Jan was amongst a rare breed of young gifted athletes who managed to juggle other commitments with sport – never allowing sport to interfere with their academic aspirations and responsibilities.
“As much as I was very passionate about football, I always knew what I wanted in life and would always try my level best to keep my feet grounded. I made it my sole province to keep a healthy distance from destructive elements and undesirable activities such as alcohol abuse and bad habits – that’s how I managed to balance sport and school work.”
A trustworthy and obedient young man of decent upbringing, Jan would often double up as the team’s driver whenever Santos travelled outside town to honour their tight league fixtures.
A dedicated school principal and part-time commercial farmer at the time of his untimely death, the likeable retired net rattler was harbouring aspirations of getting back into football and athletics in his desire to plough back the experience gained through the years during his time on the athletics track and football pitches.
When quizzed about his biggest challengers on the football pitch, the father of five children (three daughters and a pair of sons) did not hesitate to point out incumbent Namibian champions Black Africa as his toughest opponents during his playing days.
“They had a well-balanced squad with great players such as Lucky Boostander, Rusten Mogane and Dawid ‘Big Fellah’ Snewe.
“Fellah used to be quite a handful for many opposing defenders and was very difficult to mark because of his huge frame, pace, physical strength, unbelievable vision, brilliant first touch and amazing eye for goal.”
He also reserved special praises for a defender that gave him a torrid time on the playing field and that’s none other than the late Orlando Pirates and Blue Waters robust defender, Salathiel “Stimela1” Ndjao, whom he described as the finest center back in the history of domestic football.
Jan was adamant that former Eleven Arrows and Chief Santos dribbling wizard, one Amos “Nangi Watch” Nickel, is the most accomplished footballer of all time.
2019-06-28 10:59:48 25 days ago