Questions & Answers
- What do you believe the first role of Coaching is?
I believe that the first role of coaching is to guide the players, to enable them to deliver the best possible results according to their abilities. The role has become more complex and is broader now.We deal with issues off the pitch that influence the players performance on the pitch.
- If you had two words to describe your relationship with football, what would they be?
I don’t know whether two words will do justice to my relationship with football, however I’d strongly say it was love at first sight and that football is my life.
- How would you describe your coaching style, do you think playing in the Bundesliga League influenced that?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific coaching style because it always varies depending on the situation at hand and I try to adapt. However, I can say that I’m fiercely competitive and I have a few basic principles centered around mentality and ambition, you can’t expect results if you don’t put in the work, so I want everybody in the team, including myself, to put in the work.
- 421 Days in office? Probably the most stressful and exciting year of your life, can you give us an overview of what it has been like being at the helm of the senior men national team?
Yoh, 421 days in office. Well, what I can definitely say is that I love being on the field, I really love working with the players. When I started this job, we didn’t have an active league, trying to get a team together to compete at the COSAFA was no mean task. I know we have done it before but it’s not normal, calling players on the basis of performance from a year ago and these players turn up at training with extra ten kilos gained, it was crazy, and I hope we don’t go back to that.
Then there are issues like the stadiums. We are in Namibia where the resources are not in abundance, we do have a lack of resources. The leadership and everybody at the secretariat were very supportive. We are just doing the best with the limited resources at our disposal. I have decided to concentrate on our sporting targets, those are the targets we can influence, we will focus on playing football and achieving results.
- The Braves played 9 matches under your guidance, 3 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses. Are you comfortable with these results?
What I know is that we want to get better so we are never relaxed or satisfied. However, we have to consider where we are coming from and where we want to be. Our target still remains Qualification for Total Energies AFCON Finals in Ivory Coast.
During last year’s COSAFA we made it to the final round and this year we bowed out in the group stages. From this experience I have learned that we need to do more work, we must be consistent in our match preparations, and we must work together with our current players and those who have the potential to secure a place in the Braves.
Our players, especially the ones at home, need to realize that your body is your capital, you need to take care of that, you have to be a consistent athlete before you get to the national team or before the call up.
- Pulling Africa’s powerhouse, Cameroon in a draw on their home turf and defeating them in South Africa, is one of your career highlights thus far, what did you take from this experience?
Preparation was key. We were well prepared, we did what we had to do, everybody embraced bought in the concept of winning. We were all motivated and what I know now from that is – if we put in the work with this commitment, as a team with everyone is pulling in the same direction, we will increase our chances of being rewarded positively.
- Two COSAFA Competitions, two different results with the same team, from being runners-up bowing out at the group stage. What really went wrong, what could we have done better?
I’d say getting on stage is easy but staying on the stage is no mean task. Talent brings you to the platform, and hard work keeps you on the platform. We shouldn’t get complacent; we shouldn’t stop working, that’s the lesson we’ve learned from this year’s COSAFA Cup. The pressure for young players is always high, the expectations are equally high, people always want more.
I believe that our players gained valuable experience managing all kinds of pressures at various football levels.
- You are applauded for your passion for believing in young footballers, we saw several young players getting their first international exposure in crucial matches. Is this something we will keep on seeing regularly and how is blending the team working out for the technical team?
It’s normal that young players will come through the system we have to integrate them into the system. We have to give them the opportunity to grow into the game but at the same time it just doesn’t mean it’s just young players. It doesn’t mean if you are young, you get a free ticket to the Braves. You still have to work hard, you will get a chance, but it’s up to you if you remain in the team.
- You are the first coach to coach the national team without having coached a club. Critics point out that you lack coaching experience, what is your take on this?
I respect everybody, all coaches at all levels. I think everyone is doing their best. I don’t think being a coach at home is necessarily the yard stick. I was the assistant to Ricardo Mannetti with Ronny Kanalelo from 2018, I used that period to get to know Namibian players better as a person and that was really valuable.
I did my coaching licenses in Germany and also having played at the highest level over a certain period of time, I remember that in Hamburg for eleven seasons. I had close to twelve coaches, all from different countries and that should count for something. So, in that regard, I believe I’m adequately prepared and qualified to lead the Braves.
- Having played at a much higher level than most Namibians, do you think the experience of having played in Germany counts for something now that you are coaching?
Of course, it counts for a lot, through the networks I have built over the years, I’m constantly learning about what is happening abroad and that is always an experience that is valuable to pass on to the players and the Team.
I can always tell the story (The story people hardly ask), I was born and raised in Katutura, and I made it and with that I want to inspire players. There are no limitations to what you can achieve in life.
- Aside from your contractual obligations with the NFA, what else do you hope to achieve with the Team?
For us as, a technical team, or for me personally is to improve the individual players because as a player gets better the team gets better. This will enable players to sign professional contracts with big clubs in bigger leagues.
We are happy that young players like Megameno Approcius, Prins Tjiueza and Junior Petrus could make that move to Kosovo or that Dynamo Fredericks made a move to League Champions in Botswana at 31 or Steven Damaseb who might find his feet in Egypt. This is what we want to see, and it makes us happy and the job more fulfilling.
My dream is to leave this job better than I found it. I want to bring structures in place that necessitates the continuous development of players from junior age groups to gradually mature into the senior national team set up.
- Who is the most underrated player you’ve worked with?
A lot of players in Namibia have plenty of talent however it’s no secret that talent alone is not enough. All the Namibian players must strive to do more than what they are asked to do.
- If there is one value that coaching the Braves has taught you, what is it?
It’s a sentence I’d say Keep working in silence and try to mute all noise. That’s basically my motto with the Braves.