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Stars rope in Kanalelo

2024-02-22  Correspondent

Stars rope in Kanalelo

Maqonda Ndlovu


African Stars Football Club have roped in Brave Warriors assistant coach and former Unam head coach Ronnie Kanalelo as head coach until the end of the season.

This was announced by Stars on their social media platforms late Tuesday afternoon, and it comes after ‘Starlile’ had won one match, lost two, and drew one match in their last four games, thereby denting their title hopes.

Kanalelo was recently relieved of his duties at Unam, following a string of inconsistent results, but he has bounced back at the defending champion, just months after acquiring his Caf-A coaching licence in Botswana late last year.

Confirming what he termed ‘the reorganisation’ of the teams’ technical department, Salomo Hei said the decision was made after Stars collected four points out of a possible 12 in their last four matches.

“Our aim remains the same: to win the 2023/24 Debmarine Namibia Premier Football League and qualify for the African Champions League. Ronnie’s experience will add value to the team. Marvin (Mbakera) will be his assistant. They have worked well together before, and we hope that continues,” Hei said.

The former Civics player added that Kanalelo will help other members of the Stars technical team, like Jamu Ngatjizeko, who recently acquired his C- coaching licence.

On his part, the former Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper Kanalelo said he was looking forward to the challenge, as Stars are a team tailor-made to win titles.

“The aim is to win the league title. Stars is a team with the quality of champions. We have 11 games left, and the aim is to win all of them. We must not worry about what other title rivals like Khomas Nampol and FC Ongos are doing, but rather we must focus on our games,” Kanalelo said.

He said his job at Stars will be easy because of the quality of the players, who are both talented and experienced.

“I can’t teach Awilo (Willy Stephanus), Stigga (Ronald Ketjijere), or the rest of the team how to control, dribble, or shoot. They are top-quality players, with experience. It’s all about man management. My job is to bring my tactical acumen. I must help them find ways of trapping the monkey,” he added.

Kanalelo downplayed critics who have questioned his coaching abilities by citing his failure to win the NPFL or NPL in his previous coaching jobs. 

The type of players you have in the squad always determines who wins the title and who doesn’t, Kanalelo said.

The former Black Africa coach said he is aware that leading Stars is a pressure job but having been around the block for such a long time, he is ready for the pressure.

“The space I am in (Stars head coach) is a pressure space. The team is ready-made to win titles. But this team attracts experienced and better-quality players who always want to win. According to Namibian football history, teams that invest money typically win titles. Civics and BA are such examples; now we see it with Nampol,” Kanalelo explained.

Kanalelo said he was looking forward to reuniting with Mbakera, whom he has worked with, and said he would only add a fitness and conditioning coach while retaining the rest of the coaching staff.

African Stars will resume their glory hunt against title rivals FC Ongos after the burial of president Hage Geingob this weekend.

They currently sit second on the log, one point behind leader Nampol after 19 matches with 40 points.

2024-02-22  Correspondent

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