African Stars right back, Denis Ngueza, has ruled out a come back to the national football team, more than three years after he last featured for the historic-making Brave Warriors at the COSAFA Cup tournament that was held in South Africa.
His decision to turn his back on the national team will come as a surprise to many football supporters after he put on some good displays during the African Stars recent sojourn in Africa.
Ngueza was in good form in the CAF Champions League, notably against Orlando Pirates in the second leg of the preliminary round stage and against Raja Casablanca in the CAF Confederations Cup.
His performance in Africa caught the eye of Brave Warriors coach, Ricardo Mannetti, who made no secret that he was impressed by the entire Stars squad.
A natural right back that likes to venture forward whenever there is an opportunity, Ngueza joined Stars in 2004 at the tender age of 19 after he was spotted playing in a village tournament for Omatjete All-Stars.
He has won four MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPL) titles and seven major cups including five Namibia Football Association (NFA) Cups.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, the soft-spoken 34-year old defender made it clear that he was no longer interested playing for the national team as he is more focused on helping his beloved club win more titles.
“I think the younger players are doing a great job for the nation so far. We are on the verge of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals. It is time to give younger players a chance,” said Ngueza who has 21 caps to his name.
He said when he joined Stars; the club was more of a mid-table side than a force to be reckoned with.
“I am happy that I have been part-and-parcel of the transformation of Stars that have changed from a mid-table club to a serious title contender.
“I grew up supporting Tigers and Blue Waters because I was exposed to former Tigers defender, the late Tiwi Kaundje and former player, Forester Nicodemus, who were my neighbours.
“For Blue Waters, Munjanda Muaine and his brother where neighbours to my mother. So I knew a lot players from those two teams (Tigers and Blue Waters),” Ngueza said.
Ngueza also revealed how he came close to signing for Angola’s biggest clubs, Premiero De Acosto and Pedro Atletico. He said the move never materialized due to injuries at the time.
“In 2011, I stretched my knee ligament and from there my form dropped drastically, because I didn’t receive quality treatment which affected my dream of playing abroad,” he said.
Now that their African journey has ended, Stars’ focus is on retaining the league trophy they won last season.
A 2-1 win over new boys Young Brazilians last weekend means they have now collected nine points from five matches.
“The journey (Africa) was an experience of a life time. We entered the two competitions as underdogs, however, team spirit, guidance from the technical team, and support from management and our fans, gave us the ability to approach the challenge with no fear.
“It was a very good exposure for the lads, especially for those who haven’t played at that level before.
“Our mission this season is to win everything in our way. We have the quality, characters and depth to win,” said Ngueza, who is also a part-time farmer and businessman.