Shitembi rules out local return

By Michael Uugwanga

AFTER joining his ninth football club at age 28, Brave Warriors captain Petrus Shitembi who is known for signing short-term contracts at every club he goes to, has told Confidente Sports Desk that he will never again play in the local league.

Shitembi was speaking following his return to Malaysia after signing another short-term contract with Terrengganu FC in the Malaysian top flight league in December. Prior to that, he was with another Malaysian club, Sabah, which he had joined in February 2020.

Shitembi who made his Brave Warriors debut in 2011 aged 18 has played 59 times for the national team, scoring four goals, and succeeded Ronald Ketjijere as captain immediately after the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in Egypt of which Namibia was one of the participants.

Shitembi started his football career at Rundu Chiefs in Kavango East before he joined South African clubs notably University of Pretoria and Amazulu.

After a difficult stay at Amazulu he was loaned out to Ghanaian top club Ashanti Gold then he signed up with Stellenbosch in South Africa before he joined Tura Magic in Namibia, then Lusaka Dynamos in Zambia and left for Asia to sign up with Sabah.

This year, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) is in the process of starting its new league called the Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) that will replace the expelled Namibia Premier League (NPL).

The NPFL is funded by FIFA with the aim of transforming the domestic league into a professional one, similar to those in neighbouring countries such as the DTSV Premiership in South Africa, the Zambia Premier League, the Botswana Premier League (BPP) and the Angola Premier League.

“Unfortunately I will not be playing in that league (NPFL). I believe that if one keeps putting in strong performances it is when you get recognition and better offers, so why not move? I think we are all looking for that financial security at the end of the day, especially knowing how short our football careers are. We are literally playing for our pensions, so the more opportunities you get, try to always maximise on them,” he said.

Shitembi, who was idolised by Sabah supporters for his dazzling skills, has said that he enjoyed his short stay with the club and is now hoping to do the same at his new club.

“My stay with Sabah FA was absolutely amazing and the most memorable moment for me would be helping the team retain their top flight status since they had just been promoted upon my acquisition,” he said.