Malembu expects tough challenge for Baby Warriors


Baby Warriors Coach Paul Malembu reckons their Group at the 2018 Cosafa under 17 Championships, starting on 19 July in Mauritius, is an open group given what the teams have done to improve their teams since the last time Namibia were at the championship.

Namibia and Seychelles opens the 2018 Cosafa under 17 Championship on Thursday, 19 July at the St Francois Xavier Stadium, 10h00, and Baby Warriors coach Paul Malembu expects an interesting journey ahead. Malembu explains that since Namibia won the Cup in 2016, all nations have improved and the pressure is on the boys to deliver as they play their first game.

“In 2016, we had played in the Four Nations tournament at the coast before we left for Mauritius and that helped the team a lot in terms of international football experience. This time around, no such tournament and surely the boys will be nervous and as the technical team, we are pleased with what we have done for their mental strength going into the game. The players are match fit as well. All the teams have done well over the past year in terms of development and this will show when we play”.

Malembu hopes that his boys will use their strengths to the benefit of the team:” We have stocky players that are full of speed and best technique on how to shoot and pass and that can give us advantage against the others in the group. The boys are well aware of the plan of the team and what is expected from them. We are done planning and ready to play”, he states.

The Baby Warriors will be taking on Botswana, Seychelles and the host Mauritius in Group A at the 2018 Cosafa under 17 Championships in Mauritius from 19 to 29 July. They will open their account on Thursday, 19 July as they face Seychelles at 10h00 at the St Francois Xavier Stadium. They will then face Mauritius on Saturday 21 July at 15h00 and finish off Group A against Botswana on Tuesday 24 July, 12h00 at Auguste Vollaire Stadium.

South Africa are in Group B together with Lesotho, Zambia and Mozambique while Group C consist of Angola, Swaziland, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The semifinals will be on 27 July with Group A winners up against Group C winners and Group B winners taking on the Best Loser. The final will be on 29 July and the eventual winners will qualify for the 2019 African under 17 Cup of Nations to be held in Tanzania.

The Baby Warriors for COSAFA U/17 Cup: Goalkeepers: Utupuka Kavita, Ikuaterua Mungendje ; Defenders: Tjpenandjambi Kaputjaza, Promise Gurirab, Vincenco Ganeb, Bradley Hanixab, Thomas Bantam , Aidyn Eiseb, Giagino Geiriseb, ; Midfielders : Steven Damaseb, Esegiel Katjirijova, Prins Tjiueza, Tyrin George, Ndjiharine Katjivena, Penouua Kandjii, Edmar Kamatuka; Strikers: Jahrule Awaseb, Gonzales Tsubeb, Friedman Goraseb, and Djorkaef Stein.