Namibia: Otjomuise Academy Prepares for New Intake

The Otjomuise Football Academy has called on young soccer players to join them for an exciting year of football which will include international participation.

The academy (OFA), according to its founder and president Sacky Elago, is a community-based football academy which started off in Otjomuise suburb with the aim of keeping children off the streets by offering them football training.

Later, however, it changed its aim from that of simply taking the kids off the streets to giving them a career by training them to be professional footballer players.

According to Elago the academy was established in 2015 after he realised that there were no recreational activities in the location, while most of the youths in the area were involved in criminal activities.

Since then the academy has grown and now offers training to players from u7 to u15 level, while the registration fee is N$500 plus a monthly fee of N$300 per player. The scouting department has also announced that 2019 will be the final year in which the academy will take in players by registration, as from 2020 all intakes will be scouted by the academy.

The academy has taken a professional route by appointing a Fifa-licensed agent a director of football operations, head of scouting and youth coaches with a C licence as a minimum qualification. "Namibian football needs a facelift now more than ever, we need to produce players who will be able to compete on a global stage to put Namibia in the same league as African countries like Senegal, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast. We need to compliment the work being done by national coach Ricardo Mannetti by giving him more talented youngsters who are ready to take Namibia to the next level," Elago said.

Elago added that parents who wish to register their kids must be fully committed and must be aware that they are making a long-term investment in their children, because the players will travel to trials and play in tournaments in Europe every year.

The academy has participated in international tournaments in South Africa for the past three years while it will also be representing Namibia at the Youth World Cup in Sweden in July this year, when about 80 countries from all over the world will be in action. The academy has recently also partnered with the UK Leeds Pro Academy in a partnership that will see Otjomuise Football Academy players receive opportunities in England.

The future looks bright for the youth of Otjomuise as plans for a N$120 million sport complex, the biggest sports complex in Namibia have been approved and Otjomuise Football Academy will definitely be one of the beneficiaries of the project.

Interested parents can request for an application from before 31 January, while training starts on 4 February at Chairman Mao Zedong High School in Otjomuise.

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