Young Chiefs eye NPL return

30 January 2019 | Sports

Former Namibia Premier League (NPL) side Young Chiefs are hard at work despite a delay in the start of the first division.

They are also hoping that the Young African saga may lead to their return to the NPL. This follows Young African being booted out the league for contravening NPL rules by fielding an ineligible player named Tapiwa Simon Musekwa during the 2017/18 season.

Young Chiefs, based in Oshakati, were relegated from the MTC NPL following their 2017/18 campaign.

The club continues to work hard in their quest to return to top-flight football.

Club spokesperson Nicky Kapuka confirmed that the spirit and the passion of the players and staff members remains the same.

“Young Chiefs will never die because the players and the management are passionate about football.

“We are the heart of football in the north and we are therefore doing as much as we can to remain relevant.

“Young Chiefs have been training on a daily basis and we also play in mini-tournaments just to make sure that we are active and fit,” Kapuka said.

The club further revealed their ambitions of being reinstated in the NPL following the dismissal of Young African FC from the league.

“We do not know how far this Young African saga will go but the whole of the northern regions hope that we could return to top-flight football.

“The team members are happy that our complaints to the league about Young African were heard and that justice was served,” Kapuka said.

Formed in 1989, the club remains loyal to their founders Vaino Amuthenu and Fifi Shilunga, who created the team just before independence.

Gaining promotion to the premier league was one of the greatest achievements in the club's history.

The club entered the premier league scene during the 2015/16 campaign and managed to avoid relegation in their first season.

They played two seasons in the premier league before being relegated to the first division.

In 2017, the team lost 2-0 to Young African in the quarterfinals of the Debmarine Namibia Cup.

At the start of the competition, no one would have guessed that the boys from Oshakati would make it to the quarterfinals.

But they proved all the critics wrong by producing thrilling performances on their journey in the competition.

They managed to beat Bee Bob Brothers 3-1 in the last 16.

“The Debmarine Namibia Cup journey in 2017 was just another example that we are a determined and strong football team.

“It was something beyond our wildest dreams and we are very happy that we got that far during that season,” Kapuka said.

As they train on a gravel field next to the Oshakati Independence Stadium, there is still a belief that they will one day be able accomplish the unthinkable by winning the NPL.

“It is not a sin to dream about glory and here at our club we do have big dreams.

“The support from the locals over the years has been remarkable and that is why we want to return to the premier league and have a fairy-tale run like Leicester City did in the English Premier League.

“Nothing is impossible and we will keep pushing hard until we are able to achieve greatness,” Kapuka added.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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