Namibia Premier League (NPL) joint top scorer, Panduleni ‘Kaka’ Nekundi, almost quit football after leaving UNAM FC at the end of the 2015/2016
season before he was convinced to reconsider his decision by African Stars coach, Bobby Samaria.
Listening to Samaria’s advice was probably one of Nekundi’s best decisions in life as he just can’t stop scoring at the moment.
“I wanted to quit football because I was never motivated during my time at UNAM. It was coach Samaria that called me and asked me if I am interested in joining the team,” Nekundi said.
The African Stars marksman, who seems to be scoring for fun, netted his 12th goal of the season last Friday, in his team’s 1-0 win over Civics at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
He is now level with Tura Magic striker, Itamuna Keimuine, while Eleven Arrows striker, Joseph Nghifindwako, has 11 goals to his name.
With only four matches to go before the end of the current campaign, Nekundi knows that there are not many games left for him to score goals and be crowned the league’s top scorer or to surpass the 17 goals scored by Terdius Uiseb of Orlando Pirates last season.
At the age of 29, Nekundi, who has had stints with Tigers, University of Namibia (UNAM) and former NPL side Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW), is playing his best football ever.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, Nekundi said that at the beginning of the season it never crossed his mind that he might finish the season as the league’s top scorer.
“I never set a target when I joined Stars because all I wanted was to just enjoy playing football, but when goals started to come and people started to talk about me becoming a top goal scorer that is when I started focusing more on the top goal scorer prize,” Nekundi said.
Before joining Stars, Nekundi played for UNAM and Tigers where he won the Bidvest Namibia Cup in 2015, finishing the tournament as top goal scorer with 14 goals.
His goals in the league have caught the eye of Brave Warriors coach, Ricardo Mannetti, who included him in the squad that featured at the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament in Morocco earlier this year.
Nekundi scored his first international goal at the tournament, in a 1-0 win against Uganda in the group stages.
Former Liverpool and Civics striker, William Chilufya, still holds the record of the most number of goals scored in a season when he scored 29 goals in the 2001/2002 season.
With four matches still to go before the conclusion of the 2017/18 NPL season, Stars are on the verge of winning the league title they also won in 2015.
Stars will play Tura Magic and Tigers this weekend and Nekundi is eager to add more goals to his name.
Stars, who top the log with 55 points compared to second placed Black Africa’s 48, are on course to win the double after they progressed to the Debmarine Namibia Cup quarter finals.
“The NPL title is in our hands and it is for us to lose. At this point, no player at the club wants to give up the title. We are not worried about other teams as we are only focusing on ourselves,” Nekundi said.