Saving troubled youngsters through football

25 September 2019 | Sports

Rundu football team Tura Star United aims to transform the lives of unemployed youngsters by keeping them on the pitch instead of on the streets.

In an interview with Ewi lyaNooli, Tura Star United head coach Daniel Markus said he is passionate about bringing about positive change in the lives of his players.

Tura Star United was founded many years ago but lacked effective management until Markus started shaking things up.

Markus told Ewi lyaNooli that he joined the team more than a year ago as a player but an old injury that reoccurred forced him off the pitch during a match.

He then decided to try his hand at coaching instead.

“I found Tura Stars United already established but the team was deserted by previous coaches,” Markus said.

“At first when I was introduced to the players as a new player joining the team, I played a training match, but ended up walking off the pitch due to an ankle injury I had picked up when I used to play for the Collin Benjamin Soccer Academy, now known as Tura Magic.

“While I was on the bench I saw the potential in the players and decided to take charge as caretaker for the past year and eight months.”

Asked about his vision for the team, Markus said the aim was to develop a strong squad and achieve the ultimate goal of taking the team as far as the Namibian Premier League.

“Despite the type of game we're playing our goal is to be part of a social league and also to participate in major tournaments and take on bigger and experienced opponents, and also to push our way up to the Namibian Premier League, which is very possible,” Markus said.

Markus expects the players to be committed, respectful and hardworking. He believes that players should have a winning mentality, which builds their confidence.

“I expect players to commit to our weekly training programme and to appreciate teamwork.

"They should have good communication among themselves, which will make it easier to accept when they are trying to correct one another,” Markus said.

Elaborating on the impact football can have in a community, Markus said there was doubt that through sports one can rehabilitate people who are troubled.

He said sport is one of the tools that can curb social problems that are destroying communities, such as teenage pregnancies, crime, and alcohol and drug abuse.

“Football has really helped many footballers in this region, especially the school dropouts. Most of the players could build a career for themselves, be it a football career or other work.

"They actually found themselves on the field of play, and now they believe that one can rise again after a fall,” Markus said.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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