SPOTLIGHT on coach/owner of Julinho Sporting

Name: Nelson Luis
Nickname: Maradona (as a player) and Coach Nelli
DOB: 03/06/1969
POB: Nkurenkuru, Kavango West

Where and when did your coaching career start?
I started coaching at Centaurus Secondary School in Windhoek. We didn’t have a coach and I was playing for Ramblers football club’s first team at the age of 16 and with the experience that I was getting at Ramblers training, I was using it at school (1986-1989).

How many clubs have you coached to date?

I helped coach a woman’s Eastern Province team in South Africa (1993).
I also coached Coca Cola Sporting (Rundu) (1994), Cuca Tops (Rundu) (1995), Rundu Pirates (1997-1999), United Stars (Rundu) during their first leg of their NPL debut (2000-2001), Rundu Pirates (2001-2002), Rundu Pirates (2002-2003,) at the same time we started Julinho Sporting, which I have coached from 2002 to date.

Name the best player you have ever coached?

It’s difficult to name one player alone, so I will have to name five players.

Cornelious De Waal – speedy goal-scoring machine.

Katanga – the most skilful midfielder that I’ve coached.

Gabriel Haindaka (Baby) – a speedy forward, Julinho’s all-time top-goal scorer.

Tode Mulumba (Congolese) – the most versatile player I have ever coached; good striker, wonderful centre back and an outstanding goalkeeper.

Alfons Xoagub (Rooney) – a great defensive midfielder.

Where did you get your coaching training from?
From all my playing experience; starting at Ramblers at the age of 16, national team U-13, U-16, and U-19; Port Elizabeth Technikon club (coach of U-23 in South Africa under the watchful eye of Abubaka Williams, and from the Namibia Football Association (NFA)’s coaching course.

What coaching qualifications do you have?

NFA’s C Licence

Who was your sports hero growing up?
Diego Maradona

Which club did you grow up supporting?

Mamelodi Sundowns
Who is the best coach you ever worked with? 
Abubaka Williams, coach of University of the Western Cape side.

Who is the toughest coach you played against?
Pitso Mosimane, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.

Who is the best coach you worked under and why?
Abubaka Williams because of his experience, the way he reads the game and the way he works with players.

Which is your most memorable match to date?
Libolo FC (winners of Girabola Angola) vs Julinho Sporting FC in Menongue Angola for independence celebration of Angola in 2014, and also participating in the annual Dr Hage Geingob Cup when we lost 1-0 to Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) and 2-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns and finishing in 10th place in the NPL in the 2018-2019 season.
What is your formation and why?
4-3-3 because I like to play attacking football.

The lowest moment of your career? 
Being relegated from NPL 2016-2017.

Your favourite local and international coaches and why?
Local: Brian Isaacs, Civics coach (formerly coach of Black Africa, Tigers, Orlando Pirates, Brave Warriors) – his achievements in NPL and his humbleness.

International: Pep Guardiola, Manchester City coach – I like the playing style that he enforces.

What inspired you to start coaching and your secret behind winning matches?
The passion and the fact that I stopped playing at an early age due to injuries.

Preparation, confidence and harmony.

When do you plan to retire from coaching and what would be your next step?

Hard to say, maybe when I can no longer coach.

Watching and giving advice.

What types of challenges are there as a football coach and how do you handle the pressure?
In Namibia, the distances and no proper football fields to coach properly. Sport is about winning and losing. Someone must win and someone must lose. It’s not nice to lose but it must be accepted.

What advice can you give to those who are planning to go into coaching?

Love for the sport and players, dedication and hard work pays off.

What is your greatest achievement in sport?
Playing for the National team U-13, U-16, U-19 (captain) and making the SA Technikon team.