The 2023/24 Debmarine Namibia Premiership may be in its early days, but September and early October provided football enthusiasts with thrills and spills.
The anticipated start of the season had always cast doubt among football lovers on whether football will resume in time, given the torrid time the beautiful game has experienced in the country.
The 16th of September however silenced all doubts, as Namibia’s topflight football returned with a bang.
There was no better match to open the season than a famous Katutura derby between African Stars and Orlando Pirates.
Fans from both teams crossed locations, rivers and bridges to make sure that they got a glance of what to expect from their teams this season.
Champions African Stars justified their tag by cruising past Orlando Pirates 3-1 at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
However, this result was not the highlight of the first round in September after newcomers Khomas Nampol FC and Chula Chula were the surprise packages of the opening weekend.
The Police team travelled all the way to Keetmanshoop to meet Young Brazilians FC.
Khomas Nampol FC avoided the baptism of fire with a 2-0 victory over the home team.
FC Ongos, on the other hand, got the better of Young African, beating them 2-0 away in Gobabis.
Julinho Sporting and Life Fighters FC shared the spoils on the opening day, with both teams playing to a 0-0 stalemate.
Newcomers Okakarara Young Warriors were at a receiving end of a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Blue Waters away from home in their first match.
The biggest highlight of the opening round was provided by newcomers Chula Chula FC.
It was a historic day as the town of Oshakati and the northern region welcomed back premier league football for the first time in over a decade.
The thirst and hunger for football in that part of the country was evident as the Oshakati Stadium was packed to the rafters.
The day was marked with a spectacular performance by Chula Chula FC, after they trounced old guards Mighty Gunners 2-1 in emphatic fashion.
Tigers Football Club also opened their new season account with a 1-0 win over Civics in Windhoek on Sunday 17 September.
The league took a breather after the opening match, with clubs accorded a break to get their affairs in order.
Many had thought this will extinguish the fire in the belly of the bogey newcomers, but they were in for a surprise.
On Thursday 26 September, Khomas Nampol made a clear statement after beating Tigers FC 2-1.
Orlando Pirates bounced back from their opening weekend defeat and managed to beat Ongos FC 2-1, while Life Fighters were held 1-1 by Mighty Gunners in an Otjiwarongo derby.
The 30th of September provided another thrilling encounter as Civics beat Young Brazilians 3-2.
Unam FC rubbed further salt in the wounds of Okakarara Young Warriors with a 5-1 victory over the newcomers.
African Stars FC beat their rivals Young African 2-0 in a fierce battle at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
The 6th of October was another day that proved why Khomas Nampol FC are proving a force to be reckoned with.
The police force team made easy work of Unam FC with a 2-1 victory in Windhoek.
Mighty Gunners FC grabbed a 2-0 win against Tigers in Otjiwarongo on Saturday 7 October.
Young Brazilians FC added further misery to Life Fighters FC’s poor start following a 1-0 win over the Otjiwarongo-based side.
Blue Waters FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Orlando Pirates, while African Stars beat Okahandja United 4-0.
Young African FC continued to drop points following a 2-2 draw against Okakarara Young Warriors.
FC Ongos made no mistake after beating Julinho Sporting 2-1 on home soil.
The Debmarine Premiership matches continued to Sunday 8 October as teams aimed for a perfect weekend.
Young Brazilians ensured that they got the maximum points with a 2-1 win over Unam FC.
African Stars and Blue Waters played to a 0-0 stalemate at the coast, while Ongos FC beat Okakarara Young Warriors 3-2.
Chula Chula FC and Tigers played to a 1-1 draw, while it also ended goalless between Young African and Julinho Sporting in Gobabis.
Mighty Gunners and Civics drew 0-0, while Okahandja United beat Orlando Pirates 4-2.
The weekend closed off with a Khomas Nampol 4-0 victory over Life Fighters.
The season has only just started but some smaller clubs have already shown that they can prove to be a challenge to the more established teams. It appears as if Chula Chula FC will be hard to beat in Oshakati, while Khomas Nampol looks set to survive relegation, given how they started the season. African Stars, Life Fighters and Blue Waters have not fired on all cylinders, making this a very exciting and interesting season that lies ahead.