By John Tuerijama
SOCCER academies in Windhoek are doing much better than school teams. This has become evident in the recently-introduced HopSol Youth League which caters for teams from Under 9 to Under 19.
HopSol co-founder, Colin Benjamin said there are a number of reasons why academies are doing well in the league. He said tactically and technically, the academies are doing very well as they have trained together for a longer period than the school teams.
”The academies have the advantage because they train three times a week compared to the school’s teams who at times only train once a week,” said Benjamin.
He said another factor is that academies have fulltime coaches and also show more commitment towards football development, unlike school teams.
School teams are coached by teachers, who in most cases do not have the experience or the qualification to coach young players. However, they do it for the love of football or out of necessity. Unlike academies such as SKW, DTS and Ramblers that pay fulltime coaches, the schools do not have extra budgets for such extra murals and depend on the goodwill of teachers to take the kids through the ropes. In some cases, teachers and players just meet at the football pitch on Fridays of Saturdays and no coaching would have taken place during the week.
“Schools should have part-time coaches because teachers only do voluntary
work and as such have other responsibilities. Sure, there is better quality in the academies and it is really visible because the players from the academies are faster, stronger and skilful,” he reiterated.
Benjamin said one way of improving the quality of school teams is to campaign for former players to assist these schools with coaching.
“We have former players who availed themselves to assist with some schools, such as Bradley Asprilla Wermann and former Brave Warriors goalie, Arnold Subeb who are assisting St Paul’s College. The young players are looking up to these two former players and are surely willing to learn from both of them,” stressed Benjamin.
He said another individual who also opted to volunteer his expertise, is Premier League coach Woody Jacobs who is also coaching a school team while Brave Gladiators’ veteran defender Mommy Kasaona is coach of VRK Academy which is owned by Vezemba Rodman Katjaimo, sports producer on NBC’s Otjiherero radio service.
Benjamin has reiterated his call for former players to adopt schools so that they can collectively help to improve the quality of football displayed by these schools. In the end, he said, it is not only the learners who will improve their game but that they will add more value to second, first and premier league teams and ultimately provide better quality to the respective national teams.
The HopSol Youth League has already completed three rounds for all the age groups and is on recess until after the mid-term break.
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