Namibia: Life Fighters, Young Pretenders to the Throne

AT the halfway stage of the MTC Premiership, Black Africa are seven points ahead of the chasing pack, but on Saturday they host one of the pretenders to the throne, Life Fighters.

The Otjiwarongo club is third on the log, eight points behind BA ,and a victory will give them a considerable boost in the title race.

So far they have only lost three matches, with two of those coming early in the season, and since December 2018 they have only lost one of their last nine matches, which include five victories.

They are now third on the log on 24 points, and along with African Stars (25), Citizens (23) and Mighty Gunners (22), are leading the chase to catch Black Africa who lead the log on 32 points.

With former Oshakati City player Agnus Elemu taking over as coach in September last year, Life Fighters' young team has started to show it's true potential after they finished 10th the previous season.

They have played an attacking brand of soccer, scoring 21 goals along the way - the second most behind Black Africa at this stage, while their young striker, Issaskar Gurirab has grabbed the opportunity and is currently the top goal scorer in the league with 12 goals.

Their fine form has been noticed by national coach Ricardo Mannetti who called up the 21-year-old Gurirab and 23-year-old midfielder Ndjiraeree Maharero to the Brave Warriors squad that is preparing for their crucial Afcon qualifier against Zambia on 23 March.

Elemus said he respected Black Africa, but that would not change their approach to the match.

"BA are top of the log and they have done very well. They have a lot of talent and we will have to be very disciplined against them - we must not let our concentration slip.

"But we are not going to defend, we will play our normal game of attacking football and the better team will win in the end."

He said his players are well prepared for the match.

"It won't be easy, and obviously we will be the underdogs, but we are ready for them. It's all about the hard work and the whole team structure that we are putting in place, from the management to the players and supporters," he said.

"We have worked hard with the boys we have. We have a very young team so its a matter of motivating them. They are all quality players and they have the quality to be in the national team," he added.

Regarding their log position, Elemus said they are still aiming higher.

"Yes, it's a surprise that we are now third on the log, but we can do better than that."

Meanwhile, second-placed African Stars and fifth-placed Mighty Gunners are in action in another crucial encounter at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday night, which can also have a significant impact on the title race.

In other matches on Saturday, Unam host Orlando Pirates, Julinho host Tigers, Okahandja United host Eleven Arrows and Tura Magic travel to Karasburg to take on Young Brazilian.

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