Controversy looms over Namibia’s new head coach
Posted: 4 July 2008 Time: 12:54
Namibia has named 35-year-old Belgian, Tom Saintfiet, who has never coached a senior national team before, as the new head coach of the Brave Warriors.
Namibia Football Association spokesman Beau Kauta told The Namibian newspaper that Saintfiet will arrive in the country next week and will take up his new post, after former coach and Dutch national Arie Schans, was fired last week.
However, it seems that the appointment will spark controversy as Saintfiet after it was established that he was fired by his former club in Finland, RoPS, in March this year after being in charge of the side for only two months.
It is reported that the players at the premier league club didn’t like the way Saintfiet coached.
The new coach will not sign any contract and his mandate will be to lead the Warriors through their two remaining World Cup/African Nations Cup matches and the Cosafa Cup due later this year.
Kauta said the association was not looking at results to be brought in at national level at this stage, but were looking having a steady national team by 2010.
The new man will also act as the head coach of the Under-23 national side, with current head coach Bobby Samaria ultimately being demoted into an assistant role.
Saintfiet according to Kauta, was head-hunted by the NFA and was considered as the perfect choice for the ailing Brave Warriors side, which has virtually no chance of making it to 2010 World Cup/African Nations Cup finals, despite their two remaining matches.
Saintfiet was born in Mol, Belgium, on March 29 1973 and at the age of 24, he was the youngest head coach in Belgium.
Saintfiet has coached in several countries like Qatar, before he also became the head coach of the Under-17 side in that country.
He also coached league clubs in The Netherlands, Germany, Faroe Islands, Ivory Coast and in the lower Belgium leagues.
Strangely, the new coach will also be expected to appoint his own assistant coaches, but will not be allowed to choose any foreigners as the NFA is currently cash-strapped and unable to pay for them.