Stephanus pleads for Warriors forgiveness

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Deserted Finland-based midfielder Willy Stephanus pleads for forgiveness from Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti, Namibia Footfall Aassoction (NFA) and the entire nation for his misdemeanor that led to his exile from the national team since 2016.

The exciting midfielder also known as ‘Awillo”, Stephanus looks to smoke the peace pipe with Coach Ricardo Mannetti and now offers a public apology.

“What I did back then was so much disrespectful towards you and the rest of the technical team. I think I was too scared, that if maybe I had made the right decision, which was to stay and help my country, I would never have gotten the opportunity to play professional football at all. Therefore I would like to apologize for taking off the way I did” a remorseful Stephanus says to Mannetti of his action in 2016.

In June 2016, Stephanus requested to be released from camp to attend trials in Vietnam, ahead of the 2016 Cosafa Cup in Windheok, reminiscent of his antics during the same period in 2015 when he part of the Warriors CHAN team and featured in the first leg against Zambia only to disappear for the second leg.

Stephanus, 27, adds that playing for the national team will and had always been his goal for as long as he can and would like to be considered again for the Brave Warriors.

“For my poor choices I made back then, I absolutely take full responsibility for my selfish actions and terrible pain I have caused the coach, the Assoction and the entire nation of my beloved Namibia. I remain the son of the soil and still have some years left in me to contribute to our national team”, states Stephanus who now plays for AC Kajaani in Finland.

Mannetti welcomes Stephanus apology and stresses that “It takes a real man to recognize it when they do wrong and even stronger man to apologize. I am glad we can put this behind us and concentrate as all Namibians on AFCON qualification”.

NFA Secretary General Barry Rukoro says Stephanus’ gesture need to be appreciated. “The boy is owning up to his mistake and that means a lot and all deserve a second chance in life. He has shown that he’s a strong man by choosing to close a door on an unpleasant past for future possibilities to serve his country”.

The Brave Warriors will host Zambia at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on 8 September, 16h00, and then play the away and home matches against Mozambique on match-day three and four between 8-16 October 2018.

Match-day five, where Namibia host Guinea, who beat them 1-0 on match-day one in June this year, will be played between 12 and 20 November 2018 and the final qualifiers match-day six, will be played on 18-29 March 2019 as Namibia travels to Zambia.

Mozambique heads Group K with three points, with Guinea also on three in second place, followed by Namibia and Zambia on zero points after losing their opening games. The Group winner and runner-up will qualify for the 2019 AFCON.