Where does Shalulile rank among Nam top strikers?
By Michael Uugwanga
PETER Shalulile’s good season in the just ended DTSV Premiership has been well documented.
With 15 goals and six assists in 25 games and a blossoming partnership with his partner on the pitch, Themba Zwane, he’s been right back to his very best.
His goal tally however went down to 15, compared to the 16 goals he scored for former club Highlands Park that saw him finishing joint-top scorer in the league alongside Orlando Pirates and Malawi goal-poacher Gebadinho Mhango.
His 15 goals in the league were enough to earn Sundowns its fourth successive league honours and as a result he was awarded the DSTV Premiership Player of the Season and the Player’s Player of the Season awards on June 6.
Across all cup competitions, Shalulile scored 22 goals from 39 matches in the 2020-2021 campaign.
He is also joint top scorer for the Brave Warriors with 13 goals, same number of goals as retired player Rudolf Bester who previously played club football in South Africa for Orlando Pirates.
At 27, it is likely his best years are still ahead of him, if his performances continue to improve.
But where does Shalulile rank alongside other Namibian great strikers of the past?
If we remove former Namibian great strikers such as Dawid Snewe, Costa Khaiseb, Hendrick ‘Doc’ Hardley, Pius Eigowab, Gerros Urikhob and Henrico Botes, there are very few central strikers who are better than Shalulile.
Before Highlands Park, Shalulile was at the books of local club Tura Magic where he was operating mostly as a left-back.
Confidente Sport asked some former great Namibian footballers to rank Shalulile.
Snewe, who was perhaps one of the most feared strikers in the 80s and early 90s for Black Africa said that despite Shalulile’s achievements at Sundowns, there were great strikers that were above him.
“I will not say that he is the greatest striker to come out of Namibia, as there were great strikers in the 70s that even we used to look up to such as Pius Eigowab, Bethuel Ace Tjirare, Selle Auchumeb, even Khaiseb (Costa) was a very good goal-poacher together with Henrico (Botes).
“Peter (Shalulile) is still learning but his hard work and humility will take him far. I think he can play anywhere in the world. He should not perform to become the best than any other strikers, he should just compete against himself because only he knows about his weak points and strong points,” said Snewe.
Former Brave Warriors coach, Rusten Mogane despite rating Shalulile highly, he still thinks that there were other great strikers who are above him, although adding that in the modern era Shalulile is one of the top three strikers.
Mogane was also a footballer himself for Black Africa, played alongside some of the past and present legends.
“That is a great question. Let us look back in the 70s, there were some top strikers like Pius (Eigowab), Doc Hardley and also Oscar Mengo who was a midfielder but was just as good going forward, and remember that these players were not playing under qualified coaches as they were playing with their talents. There were other strikers like Senwe, Eliphas Shivute and Gerros.
“But in the modern era I will say Shalulile is among the best strikers of all-time, but I will not mention the other two strikers,” said Mogane.
Former African Stars great, Ben ‘Doc’ Naobeb, who is also regarded as the country’s finest footballer, having played alongside another Namibian legend Hassie Mingeri, said that footballers before independence were born with skills.
“I never saw Shalulile playing in the local league, but I have read a lot about him in newspapers. It is unfair to compare the past players to modern players. There was a striker in Pele Blascke who played for Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa and even Chiefs will tell you how good he was. There was a striker that I used to enjoy playing alongside with at Stars in Mingeri who was an all-round striker.
“Strikers like Pius (Eigowab) was a deadly striker at Orlando Pirates in South Africa, you have Oscar Mengo and Snewe. But if you are to ask me where to place Shalulile among the greatest strikers I will maybe put him in the top 10 (sic),” said Naobeb.