Olympics Dream Team off to China

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Namibia’s Dream Team, the National Under -23 football team will depart for their week-long tour of China on Friday afternoon ahead of their two friendly matches against their Chinese counterparts on 4 and 7 June.

With the 2019 African U-23 finals qualifiers draw still to be conducted, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) are invited to China to partake in preparatory games against their Far-East friends and on Friday, 1 June the Namibians will fly out to China.

“The draw is still to be conducted and we have to be ready for anything and hence the importance of this training camp in China. We are grateful for this invite and the boys have been hard at work on the field going through the drills so that they can leave a mark in China. It will be a learning tour as well and surely the team will enjoy and play to find the right combinations and see what can work for us before the real business”, says Timo Tjongarero, Head coach of the team.

He adds that the boys wants to make a mark on for the 2020 qualifiers: “ In recent years, we won Cosafa at senior and under-17 level and also reached the CHAN finals quarterfinals and this crop of players wants to add to those achievements by writing their own history and at least qualify for the tournament in Egypt after the continental qualifiers” explains Tjongarero.

Of the many friendly games the team played thus far, the notable one was on 19 May when they defeated (Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia (TISAN) 1-0 thanks to a goal by Israel Shikongo.

Namibia has to start that Olympic dream by negotiating past the continental hopefuls with seven spots available for the eight-team tournament to be held in Egypt by November and December 2019. The tournament in Egypt in 2019 will see the top three teams qualifying automatically for the Olympic Games. The fourth-place finisher plays in a play-off against a team from the Asian Football Confederation. Nigeria are the defending champions.

The following 20 players will travel to China: Kauua Wisely, Tsandib Baloyi, Kamati Petrus, Petrus Aprocius, Abel Paulus, Kambato Uetuuru, Nauseb Giovanni, Kandjabanga Pandeni , Shikongo Israel , Mingeri Hubert, Kasume Romeo, Kham Anthony, Hawiseb Romario, Haukongo Lubeni, Spiegel Calvin , Festus Rivaldo, //Eib Kennedy , Neibeb Brandon, Naweseb McCartney and Katjivena Hiha.