Windhoek — Brave Warriors striker Eliphas Shivute will be in action for his former club Eleven Arrows when the second round of the Windhoek Lager Premier League resumes this weekend.
Arrows take on Civics and high-flying Orlando Pirates at the Kuisebmund stadium tomorrow and Sunday respectively, while the current log leaders Blue Waters play Pirates tomorrow and Civics on Sunday at the same venue.
According to Arrows' PRO, Nana Tjombe, Shivute will arrive in Namibia today from France where he has been attending trial matches with several European clubs.
So far he has not been offered terms with any club, but according to a source, his agent is busy organising further trials with Italian and Greek clubs, for which Shivute will return after Namibia's African Cup of Nations match against Nigeria in Lagos on September 2.
"Eliphas said he wants to stay in shape while he tries to find a new club and confirmed that he will be available for this weekend's Premier League matches as well as a friendly tournament in Okahandja next weekend which will be contested by Liverpool, African Stars, Eleven Arrows and Blue Waters," he said.
Tjombe said Shivute's presence would be a major boost for the youthful Arrows outfit that has been struggling since its return to the Premier League and are currently third from bottom on the log, but he was adamant that Arrows would avoid the relegation drop at the end of the season.
"It's true, we have been battling to keep up the pace in the Premier League, but no matter what will come, we will not be relegated - we are going to survive," he said.
He said Arrows had a very young team which was coping, although the Premier League was "very tough."
Some of the youngsters who have given a good account of themselves include the talented strikers Robson Haitamba and Naka Shimwino; the sweeper and former Namibian under-20 player, Andreas Tjivuku; the Namibian under 21 midfielder Richard Vendura; and the team captain Getzen Ndjiharine who Tjombe described as a very good leader.
Pirates, meanwhile, are enjoying their best run in the Premier League for many years and are currently second on the log with 27 points from 13 matches, one point behind log leaders Blue Waters who have 28 points from 15 matches.
Pirates' PRO Wessel Nanuseb said they had prepared thoroughly and would be at full strength for this weekend's matches.
"Blue Waters will be formidable opponents on their home ground and we respect them, but right now we are fit and ready for any team," he said.
He added that Kuisebmund would serve as an extra motivation for the players because Pirates have an excellent record there while they also have many coastal fans who he expected to be at the stadium.
Nanuseb confirmed that Pirates' national midfielder George Hummel would be available for both matches, because "although he was on the brink of leaving, he was still an Orlando Pirates player."
According to Pirates' manager Fly Damaseb, the Cape Town-based first division team Fortune Football Club had offered a contract to Hummel but no formal agreement had yet been signed.
Pirates have only agreed in principal to loan Hummel to Fortune. Since then Pirates received a very good offer from the South African Premier League team Hellenic, who are also based in Cape Town.
Although Hummel has been training with Hellenic, no contracts have been signed.
Damaseb said Hummel was awaiting a work permit after which he would probably sign for Hellenic.
Pirates are also at full strength for the weekend's matches with only Mabos Ortmann, who is still on trials in France, not available.
The weekend's other Premier League matches see Young Ones playing Chelsea at 13h00 and African Stars playing Golden Bees at 15h00 at the Khomasdal stadium tomorrow.
Chief Santos play Liverpool at 15h00 at the Nomtsoub stadium and Oshakati City play Life Fighters at 15h00 at the Cascades stadium tomorrow.
On Sunday Stars play Chelsea at 13h00 and Young Ones play Golden Bees at 15h00 at the Khomasdal stadium; Chief Santos play Life Fighters at 15h00 at the Nomtsoub stadium; and Oshakati City play Liverpool at 15h00 at the Cascades stadium.