Blue Waters and Eleven Arrows on the mend

WALVIS BAY: A number of tough assignments are in store for two struggling Namibian Premier Soccer League contenders.

04 February 2019 | Sports

Dankie Hipundjua; Coach; “We conceded soft goals, created and wasted many chances, and should learn to convert these.”

Otis Finck - Coastal glamour boys Eleven Arrows will face Black Africa twice this month.

Arrows will take on Black Africa in a Namibian Premier League (NPL) fixture at Kuisebmond stadium on 8 February and again in the Top 8 Cup competition quarterfinals scheduled for Windhoek at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on 21 February.

Black Africa is currently setting the pace on the NPL log standings with 23 points after 10 matches, and recorded 7 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.

The log leaders also scored the most goals (20) so far this season and conceded 6 goals.

Arrows is placed 8th on the log standings with 13 points from 10 matches. The coastal side managed 3 wins, 4 draws and suffered 3 defeats. They hit the bull’s eye 12 times and conceded 11 goals.

Arrows will also take flight against Tigers (5th) in Kuisebmond on 10 February.

Exco member and chief organising officer of the club Frans “Killa” Samaria said that the recent form of the club was a setback.

Arrows lost 2-1 to Mighty Gunners, 1-0 to Citizens and played to a 2-2 draw against Julinho.

“Being with the top ten performing clubs on the log for the first round is a bonus. Camaraderie however lacks and is one of the issues that needs to be addressed. We are preparing for the upcoming matches and will take it one game at a time with a strong focus on our league obligations. We are aware that the upcoming games are all hard matches and expect only the best from the players.”

Samaria pointed out that Arrows conceded most goals in the last the minutes of matches and then ended up on the losing end.

“Fatigue and a lack of fitness seem to be the reason for this. Our defensive capabilities also need to be strengthened and we could address this issue during the upcoming transfer window. The current players must however convince us and by means of showing that they want to be part of the team.”

Interim coach Dankie Hipundjua concurred with Samaria and said his focus is on strengthening the defensive capabilities of the squad.

“We conceded soft goals, created and wasted many chances, and should learn to convert these. Rudolf Bester with his experience is indeed and asset, with midfielders Aprocius Petrus and Esco Kavela adding stability in the middle of the park for us. Bester already scored two goals since joining the club.”

Blue Waters, also known as “the beautiful birds”, have yet to take flight and enjoyed a dismal season so far, much to the frustration of their fans.

Blue Waters take on Civics (12th) at Kuisebmond stadium on 8 February and Black Africa (1st) on 10 February at the same venue.

The club is placed 15th on the log standings (one spot above last placed Orlando Pirates) and pocketed 6 points from 9 matches. The coastal side recorded 1 win, 3 draws, 5 defeats and scored 5 goals against 9 conceded.

Team secretary Tostoa Imbili was upbeat about the recent arrival of coach Christy Guruseb who replaced South African mentor Cliff Nsoereng.

“He joined us in time for the match against Julinho Sporting, which we lost 2-1. I am confident that we will return to winning ways. It’s just a matter of time. We are aiming for a top eight finish.”

Guruseb said his immediate and key areas of focus were on improving the tactical discipline, strengthening the defensive and attacking capabilities of the squad.

“We cannot afford to give away possession when we attack, and need to adjust this. Soccer has changed a lot. Defending and attacking is collective effort and ball rotation is essential.”

He added that the club was in need of a top striker, central defenders and a goalkeeper.

“We lost two central defenders in our captain Gotlieb Nakuta who retired, as well as Johannes “Nguvi” Mutanga who joined Arrows. We also miss the likes of Edom Dominic, Marius Hasipala and Hendrik Somaeb. Julinho had three shots on goal and converted two of these.”

Guruseb also called for patience from the fans and thanked the management for the support he receives from them.

“It’s not all doom and gloom. We are working towards unity and need to be united in times such as these. Once we set up consistent performances on the field, the club can and will move up on the table in search of a top eight finish.”

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