The Brave Warriors are preparing for their clash against Zambia at the South African Premier League side Highlands Park facilities in Johannesburg and coach Ricardo Mannetti believes it will set up them up for a positive result against Zambia in the African Cup of Nations Qualifier on Saturday.
The Brave Warriors will have to avoid defeat in Zambia on Saturday to all but secure a berth at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Finals in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July and Coach Ricardo Mannetti reckons it will be achieved on Saturday in Lusaka at the National Heroes Stadium, thanks to the facilities at Highlands Park headquarters.
“We are very grateful to Highlands Park for availing their facilities free of charge for our use at any time and it is something we truly cherish. The facilities are world class, the pitch is very similar to the one in Zambia, and so our final touches here will come in handy on Saturday. We are working on finding the right combinations for the biggest game of this year and the players are in great mood and raring to go”, Mannetti states.
Star striker Peter Shalulile and versatile defender Denzil Haoseb frequent the facilities as they play for Highlands Park.
Sadney Urikhob, Benson Shilongo and Itamunua Keimuine have joined the team as expected while Black Africa defender Vitapi Ngaruka is out due to paperwork issues.
“ Vitapi will not join us but we have enough depth in defence and we will prepare as such and go to Zambia to get the result we need to qualify and remember it is really in our hands so we can’t afford to throw it away”, says Mannetti.
With Edward Maova and Vitapi Ngaruka out, players in camp are 26 with three players to be dropped before 23 Brave Warriors travel to Zambia on Thursday 21 March.
Namibia can qualify for the 2019 AFCON finals if: they avoid defeat to Zambia; they lose to Zambia and Mozambique lose to Guinea Bissau; they lose to Zambia and Mozambique draw against Bissau (Namibia have better head to head against Mozambique).
Guinea Bissau and Namibia are top of Group K on eight points each with Mozambique in third place on seven points. Zambia are on four points are out of the race to Egypt 2019. The group winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations.
Brave Warriors in training : Virgil Vries, Maximillian Mbaeva, Loydt Kazapua, Petrus Shitembi, Tiberius Lombard, Ananias Gebhardt, Willy Stephanus, Denzil Haoseb, Peter Shalulile , Marcel Papama, Riaan Hanamub, Dynamo Fredericks, Emilio Martin, Ronald Ketjijere, Benson Shilongo, Ivan Kamberipa, Edmund Kambanda, Muna Katupose, Sadney Urikhob, Joslin Kamatuka, Charles Hambira, Treasure Kauapirura, Itamunua Keimuine ,Immanuel Heita ,Absalom Iimbondi and Deon Hotto.