Windhoek — Not since the days of Ramblers' hard-tackling and bearded skipper, one Hugh 'Bobby' Craddock and the tricky Oscar Mengo (Stars) has a football match between Ramblers and African Stars attracted so much interest as tomorrow's top of the table clash between the early pace-setters in the elite league.
If any local football pundit ever dared at the beginning of the season to predict that Ramblers would become serious title contenders - many football followers would have dismissed such a notion as madness and far-fetched. The Tunschell Street Boys have so far surprised friend and foe with their carpet brand of football under the tutorship of youthful mentor Woody Jacobs, who took over the reins at the start of the season.
His ultimate mandate was to build a young team with a mixture of promising youngsters and few experienced players and to make sure one of the founder members of Namibian football remains in topflight football come next season. But after five rounds of matches in the highly competitive league, the Pionierspark outfit is yet to taste defeat and has claimed the scalps of reigning champions Black Africa on their rollercoaster run, while the boys have managed to keep a clean sheet in all their league encounters - the only team so far in the business to manage that feat in the 2912/2013 campaign. The thing that creates so much hype, expectation and excitement about this encounter is the fact that both the rejuvenated pair of Stars rejects Gazza Kazeurua and Ricardo Tjiuoro could return to hunt their former employers, when the two cross-town traditional rivals confront each other at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura in the late kickoff tomorrow at 20h00.
The renewal of this traditional rivalry is likely to bring back nasty memories of the historic tie between the two teams at a freezing Windhoek Show Grounds Stadium when Rammies hammered Stars by 5 goals to 3 in an emotional clash that was borne out by Mengo's broken jaw after the playmaker fell prey to Werner Sasse's outstretched elbow in 1977.
Not that the Reds were outplayed on the field that day - the Katutura glamour football club fell victim to their skewed interpretation of the rules governing the game of football at the time.
With the playing field now levelled - the Tunschell Street Boys however have continued to have the upper hand in many of their encounters against the Reds and tomorrow's clash of the titans should be no exception. Action gets underway tonight when Namibian champions Black Africa play host to the league's new boys Tura Magic at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 20h00.
In tomorrow's matches, Cymot Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) entertain Eleven Arrows at the Independence Stadium, while LHU Blue Waters welcome Wesbank Tigers at the Narraville Stadium in Walvis Bay.
The weekend's fixtures conclude with the relegation dogfight between Rundu Chiefs and Mighty Gunners at the Rundu Stadium. Civics entertain FNB Orlando Pirates in the curtain raiser to a double header at 18h00, which also sees the pick of the weekend's top of the table clash between log leaders African Stars and Ramblers. Unless otherwise stated, all matches start at 16h00.