Mogane speaks on life after football

By Michael Uugwanga

IT has been over 22 years since Rusten Mogane and German-born mentor Peter Uberjahn guided Namibia’s men football side the Brave Warriors to its first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Burkina Faso in 1998.

Mogane was then the head coach while Uberjahn was the technical director of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) where he was responsible for all member association football programmes, coach education, youth development and for all technical matters.

Even though his former player, Ricardo Mannetti continues to be regarded as the Brave Warriors’ most successful coach after helping the country win its first international trophy the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Senior Challenge in 2015 and leading Namibia also to its first African Nations Championship in 2018 and also to AFCON in 2019, Mogane’s success with the Brave Warriors will not go unnoticed as he also led Namibia to two successive COSAFA cup finals in 1997 and 1998 losing to Zambia and Angola respectfully.

Mogane’s last job in coaching was with local club Orlando Pirates in 2012, for a few months.

Besides coaching, Mogane was a public servant as he served as principal at A. Shipena Secondary School in Windhoek where he worked until his retirement in 2018 and before that he was the chief administrator at Namibia Sports Commission (NSC).

Confidente Sport caught up recently with Mogane to ask him what he has been up to, how football changed his life and his new role as head of a new Namibian sports institution that is expected to open its doors later this year.

“As you know before I retired (from football) I took a rest for a year, then suddenly I was called by Reinhold Xoagub, chief executive officer at Africa Institutional Management Service, an institution that helps give training to government and public sectors on different types in finance, management and so on; so he came up with the idea to establish a school called AIMS school for sport. This school attempts to professionalise sport through sport education.

“They asked me to assist them to establish it as a consultant first, and then to look at what are the aims and objectives of the institution and stakeholders. Currently we have already signed an agreement with the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Services and also with Namibia Football Association (NFA) whereby we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and we also have an agreement with the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) as well with the NSC and now we are busy with different international sport bodies.”

Mogane who will head the new centre said they were done with recruitment, and had entered into an agreement with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

The sports guru is also working towards a Masters Degree in Business Administration with the International University of Management (IUM).

Mogane also shared his treasured moments with the Brave Warriors, of which he highlighted his appointment as national team coach as his favourite.

“Being appointed Brave Warriors coach was the best moment in my life. Secondly was the Brave Warriors beating Bafana Bafana (South Africa 3-2) in the 1998 COSAFA Cup match in Windhoek because Bafana Bafana at the time were the champions of Africa (AFCON winners in 1996). And of course the big moment was when we qualified for AFCON in 1998 for the first time. So those were the moments that excited me and made me very proud,” a smiling Mogane said.

Asked if he is open to coach again in the near future, Mogane (62) quickly ruled out being in the dugout, but would rather prefer taking up the role of an advisor.

He also raised concern over Covid-19 that has affected Namibian football just like the rest of the world.

“Covid-19 really affected all of us and football is no exception to this. Most of our players make a living from the local league and with the absence of the league life is really tough for our players,” said Mogane.