Subeb ploughs back knowledge between the sticks

Home National Subeb ploughs back knowledge between the sticks
Subeb ploughs back knowledge between the sticks

A perfect football setup is not possible in its entirety without a goalkeepers’ coach nowadays in order to maintain the balance of play. 

Veteran and league-winner goalkeeper Arnold Alon Subeb is making sure he ploughs back the knowledge he learned during his playing days at Chief Santos and Black Africa to grassroots levels at CBS, which participates in the MTC HopSol Youth League and  to the Brave Warriors.

This week, we set down with him to find out more about the extrovert loner who expresses himself through football.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m an easy-going guy, very easy to talk to, and approachable. I am a very open type of person; if you come closer, you will know me better.

Where are you from, and when did your love of football start?

I’m from Tsumeb, and like many others, it started in the streets. All my uncles were top players and extended family members too, like Gerros Urikhob, Marcellus ‘Orde’ Witbeen, and the Urikhob family. So if you opened your eyes back then, you were always at the training grounds, watching them

What made you choose to be a goalkeeper instead of an in-field player?

That is funny because I was always lazy; I did not want to run around, so I decided to be a goalkeeper, which was less work at the time. The guys would choose that I should be between the sticks, and that is how it started. 

Then, from there on, I could see that I had talent and that I would become the best one day. It started showing that if I stood at the back, no goals were going past me, which boosted my confidence.

Is being a goalkeeper an easy position to play in?

Everybody thinks it is just a guy between the sticks but mind you, if you look at the bigger picture, it is where the attack starts and where the defence is. If a striker scores, he gets all the accolades, but once you concede as a goalkeeper, then you are the weak link in the team. This is a specialised position in which you have to work hard because there are a lot of aspects you have to be aware of.

What methods are you teaching your young players at CBS?

We are trying to imprint the modern type of football, which is played from the back. Teaching the goalies how to command the 18-yard box through footwork and rotating from left to right. Which is what every coach demands nowadays around the world.

How do you feel about being in the national team setup?

It’s the highest level in the country and in the world for me. It is an honour to be chosen among my peers. But that does not mean it ends there because you have to work harder now. You have to acquire more knowledge; you don’t sleep because you have to invest in yourself. We do a lot of video analysis, which helps us, as this shows the keeper’s weaknesses and strengths.

What are your biggest highlights as a goalkeeper?

I can say that playing the Cosafa Cup with the national team in Angola, where we lost 2-1, and where the late Jason Petrus scored for us with a stellar free kick. I was 21 at that time, and playing against the big names, despite the loss, we did well. I still remember saving a blistering strike from Flavio with gloves I had bought the previous day; from that day on, I trusted those gloves as I was on point.