Former SKW FC and Brave Warriors midfield star Rolf Beiter is one of a handful of retired players whose football career have gone full circle, meaning he represented the country at both junior and senior level.
The former midfielder was still a pupil at the former Deutsche Schule Windhoek when he was first called up to duty with the pre-independence under-13 side in South Africa.
“I was 12 years old when I was first called up to go represent the former South West Africa in a under-13 provincial football tournament in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Those were fantastic years, because we were still carefree and naive at the time,” Beiter says.
“I moved up the junior ranks as the years progressed and I was always in the company of players like Bobby Samaria, Mohammed Ouseb and Orlando Haraseb, when I started featuring for the under-15 team, and later on Brave Warriors current coach Colin Benjamin.”
The former midfield kingpin was pursuited by then SKW coach Uwe Riedel to join the Olympia outfit while he was at Delta Secondary School.
“I played both as striker and winger during my beginning stages with SKW. I was also comfortable playing behind the striker, but my favourite position was wide-on the left side. That’s where I played for SKW and the national team,” Beiter says.
“I had quite a remarkable time with SKW, and I almost won the best player of the year award in every second season I was with them.
“I also had a three-year stint with Civics, because it was always my desire to play in the Namibia Premier League.”
Beiter won almost everything at stake in the Amateur Soccer Association League, but says his former Brave Warriors teammates and captain always gave him a torrid time on the pitch.
He also had a four-year stint in Germany, where he, apart from doing his apprenticeship in communication electronics, turned out in the colours of the fourth-division club FC Memmingen in southern Germany.
“I was not guided in Germany, it was just partying and not thinking about my football career seriously. I can’t believe I turned down an opportunity to go have trials with Schalke. That is my biggest regret, because my life would have been different now,” Beiter says.
“After Germany I returned to SKW, then I went to Civics because it was always my dream to play in the Namibian Premier League one day, something I couldn’t achieve with SKW at the time. I picked up league runners-up and NFA Cup runners-up medals with Civics.”
He returned to a more ambitious SKW after spending three seasons with the Bethlehem Boys.
SKW combined with Okahandja outfit Liverpool to first win the first division to regain status back to the top flight.
The highly ambitious SKW bought Liverpool’s status in the NPL and they started to show their intentions by acquiring some of the top players in the league.
Beiter takes pride in the fact that he established the SKW Youth Academy in 2008.
He still manages the SKW social media channels and is actively involved in the SKW ‘old crocks’ team.
He obtained his Confederation of African Football (Caf) coaching C-licence in 2011.
“During my schooldays, soccer was always my number one, before homework and school. I was called up to the Brave Warriors team in 1990, and always represented my country with pride.
“I also had the honour to play in the Currie Cup competition in South Africa.”
Beiter’s first match for Namibia was during the famous 2-1 win against Mali at Independence Stadium – a match he describes as his most memorable ever.
The former midfielder played for Namibia against countries like Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Lesotho and Mali.
Beiter, who regrets not joining African Stars when he was approached by their long-standing team manager Lesley Kozonguizi, married Silke Beiter in 1997, and the couple has one child.
The former footballer is now working as a tour guide for Pack Safaris.
“After working in the family business, African Electric, for many years, bringing inter alia German TV to Namibia, I ventured into new grounds. I am now a tour guide and I am mostly dealing with overseas tourists from Austria, Germany and Switzerland,” he says.
“Sometime ago I did all necessary courses and attended workshops to become a qualified tour guide, which is not just work but a passion for me.
“It is quite an interesting field, and we are mostly touring southern African countries like Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.”
He names his father and his former coach at SKW, Udo Riedel, as his biggest influences, adding that he started doing his own thing as he grew older.
Beiter’s advice to aspiring footballers is: “If you’re talented, your mindset has to be right. Get an education first, then train very hard to reach your full potential.”
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