Isaacs’ nomination fuels TD debate
The Namibian Premier League (NPL) awards are expected to be a joyous occasion, where players, coaches and administrators that had great a season are rewarded for their efforts.
Unfortunately, it is customary for these awards to be accompanied by controversy as a number of people involved with the game always feel aggrieved when their preferred candidates are not nominated for the prizes.
This year’s grievance falls on the Coach of the Year category, in which Black Africa’s Brian Isaacs, Civics’ Christy Guruseb and Blue Waters’ Gilbert Rwasoka are the nominated.
The bone of contention is especially about the inclusion of Isaacs, who is listed as BA’s Technical Director (TD).
Those in the know argue that the TD position is different from that of a coach and they therefore question the inclusion of Isaacs in that category.
Namibia’s national team coach, Bernhard Kaanjuka, went to great lengths to explain the difference between the two job titles to this reporter.
“The TD is more involved with development and giving assistance to the different teams. He is an overseer of sorts and can assist where needed. The coach, on the other hand, is responsible for a particular team and handles the training, tactics and playing style of that said team,” he said.
Kaanjuka added that although he has heard of club’s employing a TD he didn’t quite get the context in which the title was used.
“In the Namibian set-up, most teams don’t have youth structures, except for maybe SKW and Ramblers. So, I don’t understand the usage of TD,” he said.
Another coach that also did not understand this was Woody Jacobs, who strongly felt that Isaacs should not have been included in the category.
“There should be clarity as to whether he’s a coach or a TD,” he said.
Jacobs goes on to use an example from own experience to highlight the confusion the title brings.
“When I was appointed as coach of Orlando Pirates, they said I was the Technical Director. But I was running the team and always knew I was the coach,” he added.
The youthful mentor lays the blame for this confusion squarely on the shoulders of the different club administrators.
“I think it’s a mechanism of getting rid of a coach without firing him. To be honest, there is no place for that (TD) title in club football,” Jacobs fumed.
The former Eleven Arrows coach was also not happy at his exclusion from the category.
“I don’t want to sing my own praises but I think I did well because I took over at Arrows when the team only had two points and 13 games left to play. I led them to safety and therefore I should be a nominee,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, there was also a hint of displeasure at the nominees for the different player awards.
One local daily paper questioned the omissions of defenders such as BA’s Da Costa Angula and Denzil Haoseb, Tigers’ Willem Mwedihanga and Ramblers’ Larry Horaeb, who all had exceptional seasons.
The awards will be held at the Safari Hotel on Sunday, with Civics’ Heini Isaacks, BA’s Brian Bantam and Blue Waters’ Hendrick Somaeb vying for the Player of the Season award.