The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Kaimbi Shines in Thailand

Brave Warriors forward Lazarus Kaimbi enjoyed a great season with Osotspa Saraburi, helping them to finish fifth in the Thai Premier League.

After missing the first half of the season through injury, Kaimbi made a major impact upon his returned during the second half of the season.

He featured in 10 matches, scoring nine goals to finish as the club's leading scorer while his stunning strike against Bec Tero FC was voted Osotspa's goal of the season. The goal, which also features on Youtube, sees Kaimbi running onto a long through ball and volleying it into the net with a first time shot from just inside the penalty area.

Kaimbi is currently training in Windhoek in preparation for the new season and said he was looking forward to a more positive campaign.

"I am enjoying my time in Thailand. I am a big star there, I'm on billboards all over the city and at times I can't go out to do shopping because of all the fans. But the people are very good to me and have accepted me," he said.

"My soccer has improved a lot in Thailand. There, the game is more tactical, where we play two-touch soccer and running into spaces, and not the direct and physical approach of South African soccer," he added.

Kaimbi said that while he was enjoying his football in Thailand, his agent was looking at clubs in Scandinavia and Turkey.

His compatriot Tangeni Shipahu joined him at the club earlier this season and has made a good impression in his first season, according to Kaimbi.

"Tangeni has done very well. He scored on his debut for the club and he scored about six goals in his first season which was very good," he said.

Kaimbi suffered an ankle injury in Namibia's 1-0 victory against Kenya on June 9, and only played again for the Brave Warriors on November 14 when he came on as a second half substitute in a 2-all draw against Rwanda in Kigali.

At that stage Namibia were trailing 2-0, but Kaimbi's presence immediately changed the complexion of the game.

"When I started playing, the whole team picked up and I had a hand in our opening goal when I passed to Henrico Botes who scored," he said.

Larry Horaeb then scored shortly afterwards as Namibia drew level and had they not been controversially denied a penalty in injury time, they could well have won the match.

"We have a good group of players and we are playing as a team now. Bernard Kaanjuka is a good coach, he is open to the players and friendly. The players are not nervous, they can express themselves on the pitch and they are not scared of making mistakes. Ricardo Mannetti is also open and the players know what to expect," he said.

Kaimbi said the Brave Warriors had a good chance of doing well in the World Cup qualifiers this year. They take on Malawi on March 20, with three more matches to follow against Malawi, Nigeria and Kenya.

"I don't know Malawi, but if our league starts in time and the players are fit we should do well. We matched Nigeria in our first match that we lost in Port Harcourt so we can do it again. We are not afraid of them and can do a good job at home," he said.

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