B-Warriors' captain clubless

Michael Uugwanga

ARGUABLY the most exciting player on the Brave Warriors team, Petrus Shitembi is still without a club, despite being the captain of the national team since he was appointed to that role by former Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti in July, following the retirement of Ronald Ketjijere from international football.

Shitembi is a product of Rundu Chiefs Football Club in Rundu and is back in Namibia after attending a training session with a second division football club in Germany, SpVgg Greuther Fürth, after impressing the club’s management while on duty with Namibia at the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

An attacking midfielder, Shitembi previously played professional football in South Africa for AmaZulu, for the University of Pretoria team (AmaTuks) and Stellenbosch FC before he went on to play in Ghana for Ashanti Gold FC, and in Zambia for Lusaka Dynamos. Locally, he had a stint with Tura Magic in the Namibia Premier League (NPL).

Speaking to Confidente Sport this week, Shitembi said he expects to sign up with a foreign club soon, although he could not reveal the name of the club at this stage.

“In Germany it was not like a trial but it was just an invitation by the club after they said that they were impressed with my performances at the AFCON. I was in Germany for a few weeks... Everything went well for me in Germany. I’m still sorting out some things here. I have contacts outside Namibia but I cannot reveal the information. I’m currently without a club.”

Asked about premier league commitments back home, he said: “No, I will not be playing in the NPL this season, irrespective of the move (whether it happens before after October). Yes, I am still the captain of the national team.”

Asked why he was still struggling to get a club despite his quality and intelligence as a footballer, Shitembi said perhaps he has not marketed himself and noted that he is currently without a football agent. He also said there was no big difference in playing football in Germany or in other parts of Europe, but the difference is professionalism in the sport in the developed world.

“As a player you must market yourself and not to wait for a club to come after you. I do not know why I still do not have a club, but as I have just said something is coming up very soon. I’m currently without an agent.

"I’m the one doing negotiations when it comes to my football future. Perhaps the only difference there is professionalism. Overall, the way they kick the ball in Germany or Europe is the same way we do it here. At times I train with University of Namibia (UNAM) or Tura Magic and sometimes with the CHAN team,” the 27-year-old Shitembi added.

He would be eligible to play for Namibia in the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers. The competition is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams in Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season – if he gets registered with a local club during the current Namibia transfer window.

Namibia is due to play Madagascar in the return leg scheduled to take place on 19 October in Windhoek, with Namibia having lost 1-0 in the first leg on 22 September in Madagascar.

“I will not play in the [CHAN] qualifiers, even if we qualify because something outside (an offer to play abroad) is coming up. However, we have a good record at home and hopefully we win. All we need to do is give support to the boys against Madagascar,” Shitemba said.