Sports

Namibia: Ex-Footballer Takes Youth Places


MARCUS Mario Davids is probably one of the country’s most underrated players, who, despite displaying great potential at club and junior national team level, never had the chance to showcase his immense talent for the senior national team.

Gifted with a deft right foot and a bag full of tricks, the Windhoek-born former Tigers midfield maestro raised eyebrows when he was first selected for the national under-20 side while he was still plying his trade in the Khomas First Division for African Blizzards.

“I was still playing for Blizzards when I was called up to the under-20 team by then junior national team coaches Peter Ueberjahn and Rusten Sukhile Mogane, which was surprising, because the coaches preferred to call up players from the premier league at the time.

“I made my debut against Lesotho, and I must say I made a very good account of myself on the day that Tigers, in the person of team manager Kelly Asser, approached me afterwards to join the famous blue-and-white outfit, which I also grew up supporting,” Davids says.

He describes himself as a normal guy from Katutura who loved to play football.

The retired dribbling wizard, who also went on to become an integral part of the under-23 national team, only played three and a half seasons for the Shandumbala Boys, but he made a big enough impact at the club to become one of the most recognised faces in local football.

Playing against the tricky Davids was not fun at all and marking him was a daunting task, because once in possession of the ball he could manoeuvre his way past some of the toughest defenders in the top league with breathtaking ease.

“I really enjoyed a remarkable stint with Tigers, which also saw me winning three major trophies – two NFA cups and one Metropolitan Cup.

“There was also a season that we ended third in the league, which was quite a big honour for me as a player.

“I was invited for trials at Cape Town outfit Hellenic, who were playing in the South African professional Castle Premier League at the time, but things didn’t work out for me. I also attended trials at Avendale Athletico, but missed out because of work permit issues,” he says.

All was not lost for the former ball juggler though as an opportunity came for him to go to the United Kingdom (UK) shortly after his failed chance to play in the lucrative South African leagues.

“Although I didn’t make it into the English Premier League I managed to get to play in the Conference League, which is also known as the National League.

“I did well, and I set myself up for life after football. I managed to buy a few properties back in Namibia and I can declare today my life is sorted out just perfectly. I can also proudly say that I am the first Namibian to play in the FA Cup,” he says.

Davids says his most memorable match in a Tigers shirt was when the Ingweinyama defeated Namibian cup kings Black Africa by a solitary goal to lay claim on the Windhoek Lager NFA Cup during a thrilling final contested at Independence Stadium in 1995.

“We managed to clinch the NFA Cup against a formidable opponent like Black Africa, who were almost unstoppable once they reached a cup final,” he says.

The former flying winger attributes his absence from the Brave Warriors squad to his absence from the domestic league, because he left for the United Kingdom aged only 23, adding the coaches probably didn’t call him up because of their valuation of the Conference League.

Davids claims the league is more competitive than most in Africa.

WORK, FAMILY

Davids is married to Marisela, whom he says he met on a plane to the UK.

The couple has two children together, and Davids has a son from a previous relationship during.

“I am currently contracted by Amazon to deliver parcels for them,” he says.

“And I am working in partnership with First Choice Facilities Service, whom I only joined recently. We look after properties. They are into developing properties.

“So far the biggest challenge I faced in my pursuit to provide for my family was when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.”

Davids, who has founded the MD Football Academy, has so far completed his level one and two football coaching badges, and is currently busy with level three and football management.