A star is born at the COSAFA Castle Cup – Wangu Gome

There are plenty of examples of the COSAFA Castle Cup providing a platform for rising stars to find fame in the early years of the competition, but there have also been some more recent occasions to trumpet.

One such player is Namibia midfielder Wangu Gome, who is completing a first season in the South African Premier Soccer League with BidVest Wits.

He might not have quite achieved the game-time he would have liked, but for a young player in a top league, it has been a huge learning curve and one that will hold him in good stead as his career progresses to much bigger things.

And it was all made possible by his performances at the 2015 COSAFA Castle Cup, where he caught the attention of a number of scouts of winning the Player of the Tournament prize.

At the time the 23-year-old was turning out for Civics in his homeland but lit up the COSAFA Castle Cup with some magical displays as the Brave Warriors lifted the trophy for the first time.

Born in Windhoek to an Angolan father, Gome says Lionel Messi and although his performances at the COSAFA Castle Cup in South African did not quite reach those heights, he was the stand-out player in a very good team.

He featured heavily for Namibia in their six games on their way to winning the title, showing not just great skill but also admirable fitness to play so many matches in such a short space of time.

By the time Ricardo Mannetti’s team had lifted the trophy after their final win over Mozambique, it was clear that Gome was destined for bigger things.

It was Wits who swooped in for his signature and after his paperwork finally came through, he made his debut in the Premier Soccer League against University of Pretoria last September.

He has made eight appearances in all, less than he would have hoped, but a solid grounding for a first contract outside of Namibia. It should also be remembered that wits is a top South African side packed with quality and experience that would be difficult for any player to break into.

What the future will hold for Gome, nobody knows, but the path to an excellent professional career has been laid thanks to the exposure he received at the COSAFA Castle Cup.

It proves once again that the regional championship truly is a tournament of discovery and we wait eagerly to see who will emerge at the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup to be played in Namibia from June 11-25.

Click here to apply for media accreditation to the COSAFA Castle Cup 2016 in Namibia.

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