By John Tuerijama
MANNA has fallen from heaven for the Buchters. Late last week, a lucrative sponsorship was announced at Luderitz. The Harders Cup, named after one of the most consumed fish species at the town, will be played on March 24 and 25, and only the six teams at the town will compete in the N$600 000- rich tournament. The winning team will walk away with a grand prize of N$100 000.
Confidente spoke to various team officials to gauge their excitement and their chances of winning the tournament.
Atlanta Bucks FC Coach, Edmund Maletzky, described the launch of the Harders Cup as a pleasant but shocking surprise as he never anticipated that such a historical development would ever make waves at the coastal town.
Nonetheless, Maletzky said the team has already started with preparations in anticipation of the Debmarine Namibia Cup but attention has also shifted to the Harders Cup.
“My charges are ready to be crowned champions and claim the N$ 100 000 grand prize money. This is the first time ever that teams are competing for such a big amount of money as normally we had open tournaments with cash prize monies ranging between N$10 000 and N$20 000,,” he said.
He added: “It is going to be a tough battle, especially between us and Youngsters and history will attest to that but we are confident of a positive outcome, come next month.”
“As you very well know, football has been disrupted and it is not just in Windhoek but everywhere and Luderitz is no exception. The disruption of football is also felt here but we are thankful for this initiative to move our football another notch,” he emphasised.
Maletzky said he hoped to meet arch rivals Youngsters FC in the semi-final stages of the competition but added that they won’t under estimate their opponents.
“We are hard at work and enroute to the final … not that we underestimate our opponents Diamond City FC in our opening match, but players are now going through the ropes in anticipation of that clash,” he admitted.
Youngsters FC coach, Heinrich Andrews, said his team is well prepared against their initial opponent while their focus is aimed at meeting township foe Atlanta Bucks FC.
“We are really not going to underestimate anyone but we are going to take each match as it comes, we sure are one of the very best teams in Luderitz,” he said.
Andrews called on all their die-hard supporters to rally behind the team. “We have a talented bunch of players who can give any team a run for their money but I truly urge all supporters to flock to the stadiums when the cup kicks off next month,” he called.
He said the rivalry is quite historical between them and Atlanta Bucks FC but he is confident that they are going to tame their loud opponents should they cross paths.
Diamond City FC vice-captain, James Shiimi said the team is well prepared and would simply going to give their opponents a hell of a tough time.
“We are 100 percent confident of upsetting any opponent coming our way as our objective is reaching the final, we are hard at work as we speak and N$ 100 000 prize money is worth fighting for and sure there will be no time for mistakes,” said Shiimi.
Rush Ups FC president, Reginald Cloete, just like his foes, said the team is 100 percent mentally and physically ready as all players have been reporting for training.
Cloete said the N$100 000 prize money is worth fighting for but that the spirit of good sportsmanship should prevail.
He said the football fields are currently being rehabilitated by both the Ministry of Sport and the Luderitz Town Council and the hype can already be felt in the town.
The winning team will pocket N$ 100 000 with the runner-up taking home N$50 000 and third place contender settling for N$20 000.
Speaking at the launch last Friday, event initiator Tim Ekandjo said: “It will be all football and music. On the evening of 25th March, Buchters will be treated to a music bash called the Harders Bash as part of the event. Top local acts like S-Man, DJ Alba and Gazza will grace the Buchter stage along the in-form Heavy K from South Africa to give Buchters the time of their life. Entrance to both the soccer tournament and the music bash is free of charge.”
Ekandjo, who hails from Luderitz, explained that the emphasis of the annual event is not all about soccer and music at face value, but that the community of Lüderitz faces tremendous socio-economic challenges rooted mainly in a lack of sufficient economic activities. Young people are particularly prone to be negatively affected by this situation. Unemployment amongst the youth is very high, which leads to high levels of alcohol and other substance abuse.
“This event therefore gives them something to look forward to, recognise and display their skills and realise their own dreams,” he said.
The event is delivered at a total budget of N$695 000 of which N$420 000 has been secured so far.
Ekandjo thanked the generous support of platinum sponsors Standard Bank, Tafel Lager and Namdeb/Debmarine, Gold sponsor Seaflower and Profile Investments, and bronze sponsors Ricky Hameva Properties, Marco Fishing and Naftal Trading for believing in the concept and encouraged more sponsors to come on board.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015