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Home / Toe to toe with Rodney ‘Wallace’ Doeseb… the football playing school principal

Toe to toe with Rodney ‘Wallace’ Doeseb… the football playing school principal

2020-12-11  Carlos Kambaekwa

Toe to toe with Rodney ‘Wallace’ Doeseb… the football playing school principal

Nicknamed after former Southampton, Leeds United (England) and Rangers (Scotland) attacker Rodney Seymour Wallis, retired Chief  Santos Football Club and Brave Warriors football playing centre back Rodney “Wallace” Doeseb was a player who brought a new dimension to the game. The last born of eight siblings, a quartet of Evas and the same number of Adams, Rodney was born on 2 January 1976 in Otjimbingwe, but grew up in the coastal harbour town of Walvis Bay.
Having grown up in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay, Wallace is an out-andout fan of Explorer Eleven since most of his close family members played for the exciting Kuisebmond outfit. He is related to Milla Gertze, Samuel Doeseb, Khumalo Gertze and Alphons “Juluka” Doeseb.

As a young fellow, aged six, Wallace was asthmatic obliging his parents to relocate to Khorixas to escape the
freezing weather of the Atlantic Ocean. He started his primary schooling in his adopted village town (Khorixas) and it was evident from an early age that he would become a lethal goal poacher.

“Whenever I was playing with my peers, I used to score lots of goals or would dribble them all day long ... hence my preference to play with older boys in the location where I operated as an attacking midfielder or striker,” recalls Wallace.
During his first year at Cornelius Goraseb Secondary School, he teamed up with his buddy Bisho Ganaseb. The pair formed a new team to compete in the school’s football league.

He was converted to centre back in an effort to make sure everything was safe at the rearguard and that’s how he ended up as a defender. While doing Grade 12 in 1993, he skippered the school’s football team in the popular annual Coca-
Cola Youth Cup in Otjiwarongo.

The boys from Khorixas reached the final but lost to JA Nel from Keetmanshoop. In the meantime, he would turn
out for Ozondje outfit Speed Fire FC (Omaruru) in the knockout cup tournaments. It was at these particular tourneys where he learned to master the art of playing against older players.

And when Khorixas outfit Robber Chanties won promotion to the country’s topflight football league, Wallace could not resist the urge of playing at the highest level and started training with the Robbers.
He found himself rubbing shoulders with football greats such as Eliphas Sabatta, Bizzo Kaninab, the dangerous Haosemab siblings Pieter, Paul and Eddie Haosemab and Michael “Bokke” Classen, amongst others.
Chanties’ technical team were very much impressed with the young fullback’s development and registered him straight away without further delay. “Eish... NPL was not just another walk in the park, we endured a rude awakening and got hammered by large scores (10-2) in one weekend but every match taught me a good lesson.

“I vividly remember losing 6-1 to Karasa Mupupa’s inspired Blue Waters in Walvis Bay. The late Orlando Pirates robust defender Salatiel Ndjao, who happened to be on a visit to his home town, called me aside after the match and told me: ‘Don’t mind the score ... everyone can see your quality at your young age.’ His words of wisdom were really motivating,
hearing that from a legend.” There was a knockout cup tourney in Khorixas and while playing for Robber Chanties’
second strings, Steven Damaseb arrived with the TransNamib team from Otjiwarongo.

“We came up against them in the quarterfinals – my coaches told me this is a very good test for you to bottle him out of the game. We won that game 1-0, so I guessed I passed the test with flying colours.”
After two solid seasons with Robber Chanties, Wallace left Khorixas for further studies in the city of bright lights (Windhoek) to advance his academic aspirations at the Windhoek College of Education.
After talking to his old lady, he joined forces with Katutura giants Orlando Pirates but after spending six months with the Buccaneers kicking his heels in frustration as he yearned for game time, Wallace decided to vacate the Buccaneers
ship. He resurfaced at Nomtsoub outfit Chief Santos to be closer with favourite player Puli Subeb and close buddy Mohammed Ouseb, though he was still residing in Windhoek.

At that time, Santos travelled twice to Windhoek but every time he joined his teammates, he would be requested to pass over his togs to another player. During the school holidays, Wallace was in Windhoek and Santos came to confront Liverpool in Okahandja on a Saturday. Their regular left back, the late Jan Xamiseb, got injured while the team still had a date with Namib Woestyn the following day in Walvis Bay.
“I went to the field and coach Max Johnson asked me whether I could play left back – I told him tongue in cheek that I can
play anywhere. After the game, the whole team could not stop talking about my near faultless performance ... that’s how I got married to Santos.”

“At that time, Puli was entering the twilight of his playing career and I guess my arrival was just what the good doctor ordered. I was just the perfect replacement for him with Slice Ouseb also on his way to join Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa.”
Wallace cemented his place in the Santos starting line-up, spending a decade with the Copper Town lads, winning numerous silverware that included 3 NFA Cups, League Title, Castle Classic Trophy while at Santos, In the meantime, Wallace was selected for the national under-19 side under Eric Muinjo and went on to represent his native land in both
the u/20 and u/23 Olympic team before graduating to the senior national team, the Brave Warriors, earning 37 caps.
“I’m a great deal indebted to my long time mentor Max ‘Zoda 5’ Johnson and fellow teammates Gerros Urikhob, Marcellus
Witbeen, Clemence Wimmert and Chris Subeb.”

Due to work commitments, Wallace was transferred to Windhoek where he briefly played for Tigers before retreating to
Santos. He was then transferred to Swakopmund and joined Kuisebmond outfit Eleven Arrows but sadly was involved in a potential career-ending horrific car accident that kept him confined to the intensive care unit (ICU) for 12 days.
Upon full recovery, he went back to Eleven Arrows but in his own words, the parties were no longer on the same wavelengths and he decided to jump ship joining Mondesa outfit Blue Boys as player/ coach in the 2008/9 season. “I’ve noticed that I was very more interested in youth development (coaching) and attended several NFA coaching courses from 2008.

I started to map out my coaching career and in 2010 completed the NFA-A licence and managed to steer Blue Boys to the NPL the very same year.” In 2011, Wallace joined Swakopmund Football Club (SFC) as a coach where he was tasked to
take promising youngsters through the ropes. Amongst his protégés were Deon Hotto-Kavendjii, Valton van Staden, Lubeni Haukongo and Lolo Gawanab.

He also won a gold medal coaching the Erongo regional team in the annual Namibian Newspaper Youth Cup in 2012, mentoring the likes of acrobatic larney goalie Sarel Engelbrecht and lethal attacker Mapenzi Munavei. .
Unlike many of his peers who are struggling to make ends meet upon retirement from competitive football, Bro Wallace is sorted out and is the incumbent school principal of the Eben-haeser Primary School in Karibib


2020-12-11  Carlos Kambaekwa

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