Willy ‘Awillo’ Stephanus, who is currently playing professional football in Finland, says he is uncertain about his Brave Warriors future after the national team selectors overlooked him for the past two years.
The 27-year-old Mariental born midfielder seems to be paying the price after he decided to attend trials in Vietnam in June 2015 when the national team was in camp ahead of a second leg tie against Zambia during the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers match in Lusaka.
“He (Stephanus) informed the technical team and we agreed to release him as we cannot have players who are not 100 percent committed to the team mentally. We have to work with players we have and who are ready to play. Between now and 25 June, we do not need any distractions or ill−discipline in this team” Mannetti told local media in 2016.
Stephanus joined AC Kajaani last year after spending six months in Thailand at Krabi FC, where he played alongside compatriot Tangeni Shipahu.
He scored eight goals in 14 matches.
Stephanus is a product of Fedics Football Club in Keetmanshoop. He signed for Black Africa in 2009, winning several trophies including four consecutive league titles from 2011.
He told the Windhoek Observer that it is not up to him to say whether he is still good enough to play for the national team, when asked why he has not featured for the Brave Warriors in two years.
“However, I think that one of the main reasons why I am absent from the national team is because Finnish football is not shown on African channels for the technical staff to see my progress,” Stephanus said.
The 2012/13 NPL Player of the Season said he has not spoken to Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti about his future with the national team.
“Ever since 2016, I have not been in contact with Coach Ricardo. We met once or twice, but never really spoke about the national team. The last time we met, we only discussed about the football here in Finland.”
Stephanus has 38 caps with the national team, but has scored only four goals in a Brave Warriors jersey.
AC Kajaani are currently in eighth position on the 10-team log standings with 14 points. HIFK are in pole position with 27 points from 13 matches played so far.
Stephanus, who said life in Finland is good, joined AC Kajaani in the second round of last season, playing 14 games and scoring 8 goals.
“This year, I have played 12 games and scored two goals so far and I am hoping to add more goals as the season progresses. I am more of a team player and so far the team has scored 20 goals and I have assisted with 10 of those goals,” he said.