History beckons for Civics 27.04.2007
Cortesy by Namibiasport
Civics are on the verge of winning the MTC Namibia Premier League title for the third year in a row.
With three matches remaining, they are seven points clear of their only remaining title challengers, Oshakati City, and with Civics’ far superior goal aggregate, it will be virtually impossible for Oshakati to overtake them.
Civics now just need two more points from their remaining three matches to make sure of winning the title again. If, or rather, when that happens, they will rewrite the history books by becoming the first team since Independence to win the Premier League title three years in succession.
Their success is all the more remarkable following the recent adversity that befell their coach and president Helmuth Scharnowski. Scharnowski had to suddenly leave for Kiel, Germany to undergo a heart bypass operation after suffering a mild heart attack. Due to the sudden departure, Scharnowski did not have time to inform the players about his condition, which led to uncertainty about the club’s future.
When contacted by Namibia Sport, Scharnowski said the operation was a success, but he still had to undergo a rehabilitation process and would only return to Namibia in June.
“I had a serious heart problem. They had to cut open my chest to operate on me and I need time now to recover. My chest needs to grow back together again and I am busy undergoing a rehabilitation programme. It will take time to heal and I only expect to be back in Namibia some time in June,” he said.
Third title looming
Scharnowski expressed delight that the team had collected maximum points against Cymot SKW and African Stars on April 14 and 15 and said that the league title was now well within their grasp.
“I am very proud of our players. I am very happy to see that they can take responsibility when I am not there. It shows that the team is growing up and we are creating something that can still go very far,” he said. Scharnowski said it would be a fantastic achievement to win the title again.
“That will be a great achievement for us, because no other team has done that yet. It shows what can be achieved through hard work and our philosophy of developing youth soccer. We will continue with our youth development programme and I am really excited about the talent that is coming through,” he said.
He said Civics had a lot of “rough diamonds” within its youth development teams, with at least ten players already representing Namibia at Under 16 and Under 18 level.
“I am excited about the future. From our youth development structures we will build another great team, which should already start taking shape within the next two to three years,” he said.
Full points against SKW, Stars
Scharnowski said he had been in contact with assistant coach George de Purificao to encourage his players and to discuss tactics before the matches against SKW and Stars.
On April 14 Civics scored an emphatic 3-0 victory against Cymot SKW. SKW held out till just before halftime when Jamu Ngatjizeko headed in from a corner, and further goals by William Chilufya and Richard Biwa gave them a comfortable victory.
The next day they seemed to be heading for a goalless draw against African Stars, but their mercurial midfielder Rudi Louw scored a great freekick in injury time to secure a 1-0 victory.
It was tough luck for Stars, who created more scoring chances, mainly through winger Freedom Puriza who had a fine match down the left wing. But Civics rode their luck and a piece of brilliance by Louw secured their victory.