Namibia’s Under-20 team affectionately known as the Young Warriors kicked off their first training session earlier today at the NFA Technical Centre as the team prepares to make their maiden appearance at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations finals being held in Mauritania next month.
The Young Warriors secured their place in the continental showpiece after defeating Angola with a hard-fought 1-0 victory in the semi-finals of the COSAFA U 20 Cup that was held late last year in South Africa. The team however lost to Mozambique in the final match of the tournament.
In addition to the twenty players that participated at the COSAFA Championship, the technical team added twenty more players to the team, adding the total number to forty players in the current provisional squad.
“ When we started training for the COSAFA Championship last year, the technical team had little to work with, we held trials at the Sam Nujoma Stadium with more than sixty players but some players didn’t show up because of exams and other commitments. We narrowed down the team and most of the players were unfit because of the current football situation we find ourselves in that’s why most players that made up the team were from the Khomas Region. The Khomas Region had active leagues and the players were up to standard in terms of fitness and tactical skills” said James Britz
He further explained that when the team came back from South Africa, the technical team and the NFA administration sat down and agreed that the technical team will travel around the country and select players from all spheres of Namibia. Trials were hosted in Oshakati, Rundu, Karibib, and Mariental.
The exciting coach also added that the first week of training will serve to adapt, recover and ascertain the condition in which the players have returned from the holidays and how the new players will blend in with the current players.
(The trials in Oshakati included Oshana, Omusati, and Ohangwena. Rundu hosted the Zambezi, Kavango West, and East Regions while Karibib was home to the Erongo and Otjozondjupa region respectively. Mariental hosted the Hardap, Kharas, and Khomas Regions).
The COSAFA Squad of Rogiano Goagoseb, Tully Nashixua, Immanuel Hamunyela, Promise Gurirab, Jovane Narib, Tuhafeni Ananias David, Xavier Mcclune, Denzil Narib, Steven Damaseb, Prins Tjiueza, Edmar Kamatuka, Giovanni Kaninab, Pitsi Ameb, Carl Tjipe Karuuombe, Junhino Jantze, Ronin Berendt, Ngazikue Kandetu, Romeo Amon, Ruhuka Ngatangwe and Amazing Kandjii will be joined by Mwanyekange Matheus, Iyambo Eliphas, Shikola Joseph (Omusati Region) Joseph Erastus, Domingos Titus (Oshana) Natanel Damien, Kanyanga Immanuel (Kavango West) Muronga John, Shiyave Johannes (Kavango East) Muyeka Mashiku (Zambezi) Michelleti Fellippo, Shipanga Tulela (Khomas) Engelbrecht Jaco, Eubrahim Apollus (Kharas) Gonzales Tsuseb (Kunene) Herman Unuseb, Gerson Paulus (Erongo) Mbimbo Kenahizu, Katua Ngero, Garere Damaseb ( Otjozondjupa).