Black Africa among campaigners vying for top NPL honour
Windhoek – The Namibian Premier League (NPL) finally sprung back to life a fortnight ago, following a hiatus that threatened to last forever – much to the delight of the country’s football loving community.
Only a few games played in the league thus far and it already promises to be a cut throat affair as all teams vies for a share in the spoils at the end of the season.
Media reports suggest that while some teams are harbouring aspirations to take the title home many are gunning for – at least – the top three spots in the league.
Be that as it may, Black Africa FC still remain Namibia’s most successful team, having won the prestigious title for a record number of times.
The Katutura giants have won the league ten times. It won the NPL on eight different occasions since independence and the pre-independence Namibia National Soccer League (NNSL) two times.
Since its formation in 1964, Black Africa won the league back to back during seven consecutive seasons. This was in 1994 and 1995. It repeated the same feat in 1998 as well as in 1999 before doubling up the effort with a quadrupled win of the league in the 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons, under the watchful eyes of Coach Brian Isaacs.
It won the NNSL twice in 1987 and 1989.
Black Africa is followed by Katutura outfit, African Stars FC, Khomasdal’s Civics FC and Walvis Bay based Blue Waters. The clubs have each won the league three times.
African Stars scooped the league during the 2008/9 and 2009/10 seasons guided by Coach Bobby Samaria and again in the 2014/15 season under the guidance of the young Coach Woody Jacobs.
Similarly, Civics walked away with the league trophy for three consecutive seasons from 2004/5, 2005/6 to 2006/7. They say money does not buy happiness, but ironically, then Civics’ Chairman Helmuth Scharnowski’s money ‘bought’ a lot of happiness for the Windhoek based team’s supporters.
None of the two teams had such luck prior to independence but Blue Waters FC from the harbour town of Walvis Bay, another NPL campaigner that managed to snatch the league title three times. It first won it in 1988, and a decade later Blue Waters were crowned Namibian champions in 2000 and later the 2003/4 season.
Previous winners include Tigers FC, Orlando Pirates FC and Chief Santos FC that won the league twice.
The oldest club in Namibia, defending champions Tigers popularly known as Ingwenyama first won the league title in 1985, only to taste sweet victory again in the 2015/16 season following a long dry spell.
Similarly, it took almost a decade for the Tsumeb based Chief Santos which first won the league in 1993 to achieve the same feat in the 2002/3 campaign. And having won the title for the first time in 1990, Chief Santos’ age mate, Orlando Pirates only managed to appease their supporters at the end of the 2007/8 season.