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Woman footballer: more than just a player

Soccer Women’s National Team winger, Mary “Drogba” Jacobs.

Soccer Women’s National Team winger, Mary “Drogba” Jacobs.

Born Mary Jacobs, a Women’s National team player and Okahandja Beauties club member is popularly known as “Drogba”, one of the few Namibian women who has made a mark in the Namibian women’s football scene.
23-year old Jacobs confessed that her journey has not been an easy one. For the first three years that she started playing football, she was on the boys team as there were no women’s teams at that point in time.
After officially beginning to play soccer in 1999, Jacobs first joined the Donatus School Otjiwarongo boys team before she moved to Okahandja. “I played with the boys on their team and that hard foundation has helped me accumulate and build on my soccer skills.”
Upon arrival at JG van der Wath Secondary School, Jacobs said there was also no female team.  “Once again I joined the boys team up until 2004 when Jackie Gertze, currently the head of the NFA Women’s Desk started her own female team. At that time she was a teacher at the Okahandja Secondary School.”
In 2005, the Women’s Football League started,  “And this is where my football took off as Gertze approached me to play for the Okahandja Beauties and until today I am still signed up under the first club I kicked off with.”
She said that her first break-through game took place in 2005 when the national U/19 team played against Botswana. “I feel that I have made great strides in women’s football but one of my greatest achievements club level-wise lies with my team, the Okahandja Beauties for being the League Champions from 2005 until 2011 in a row,” said a proud Jacobs.
Jacobs said that the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia games have brought her a lot of exposure in terms of expertise and experience. She scored the only and final goal in July this year in a heated match between Namibia and Botswana.
She also took part in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations games in Zambia in 2006 where the Namibian National team took second place after playing finals against South Africa.
Since Namibia is set to host the African Cup of Nations in 2014, Jacobs, a final year UNAM student said she hopes her team walks away with a gold medal.
This year, the Womens League was won by the JS Academy and the Okahandja Beauties for the first time since 2005 took second place.

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