Vries and Katjiukua makes Warriors return
The Brave Warriors will go to Senegal aiming to surprise their host in the 2017 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group K qualifiers match on 3 September as they look ahead to AFCON 2019.
The Brave Warriors are out of contention for the 2017 Finals in with six points in third place ahead of the final group game at Group winners Senegal (15 points) but according to Coach Ricardo Mannetti the team, that starts training today at Namibia Football Association (NFA) Technical Centre, will prepare for the game in Dakar on 03 September to prove a point.
“ I believe in defying the odds and this game gives us a chance to better history. Senegal has been dominant over our team and we now have a chance to go there and make sure we do better than the last time we lost 2-0 at home against them”, Mannetti says, making reference to English Premier League champions Leicester City and the COSAFA U/17 champions the Baby Warriors.
Mannetti has and included in his 20-men squad repented defender Chris Katjiukua and goalkeeper Virgil Vries, while there is also a place in the team for injury -returnees Da costa Angula and Petrus Shitembi. Vries and Katjiukua went AWOL during preparations for the Cosafa tournament and apologized just before the eve of the competition.
“ Chris and Virgil have showed their remorse and they are back and we will not tolerate any ill-discipline in this team”, Mannetti states.
Shitembi was injured on the eve of the 2016 COSAFA Senior Cup hosted by Namibia, while Angula played in the quarterfinal defeat to Botswana before injury ruled him out of the rest of tournament.
“Ninety percent of the players I have are from the Cosafa team and all these players lack match fitness and I have been in contact with the coaches where they are training and hence I start now with intense training before heading to Pretoria to the High Performance Centre before we depart for Dakar. Project 2019 continues ”, Mannetti states.
Lazarus Kaimbi and Sydney Urikhob are not considered as Mannetti feels he has enough stock to work with at the moment, while Willem Mwedihanga is yet to announce his availability and the unattached players are still sorting out their contracts with clubs where they are playing.
“I believe in what I have to work with at the moment. Absalom Iimbondi, Oswaldo Xamseb and Itamunua Keimuine came in and worked very hard during Cosafa and I feel they have the drive to succeed. Willem is still to come back to me and inform if he is ready to play. He was tired last time out and we respected his decision. We are in a special situation since its off season still but once the leagues start and you don’t have a club, you are out” explains Mannetti.
Mwedihanga asked to be excused for the Cosafa tournament this year citing fatigue. Densil Haoseb will miss the clash due to suspension.
The local-based players trains at the NFA Technical Centre up until Thursday before leaving for Pretoria to join the South African-based players and the team will depart for Dakar on 01 September play on 03 September and return home on 05 September.
The following 20 Brave Warriors will travel to Senegal from which the match -18 will be selected: Max Mbaeva (Golden Arrows), Virgil Vries (Maritzburg United), Da costa Angula (Unattached), Chris Katjiukua (Golden Arrows) Ferdinand Karongee (Tigers), Tiberius Lombard (Tura Magic), Edmund Kambanda( UNAM), Oswaldo Xamseb (Tura Magic), Deon Hotto (Bloemfontein Celtic), Hendrick Somaeb (Unattached), Petrus Shitembi(Unattached),Absalom Iimbondi(Tigers), Larry Horaeb (Black Africa), Ananias Gebhardt (Jomo Cosmos) Africa), Wangu Gome (Bidvest Wits),Benson Shilongo (Platinum Stars), Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa), Ronald Ketjijere (African Stars), Itamunua Keimuine (Tura Magic) and Peter Shalulile (Highland Parks).