With Namibia’s quest for COSAFA Women’s Championship glory firmly in their sights, the Brave Gladiators are raring to go in a pair of international friendlies against the Lichtenstein national women’s team.

These matches, scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) and Sunday, serve as a crucial steppingstone in their preparation for the upcoming tournament in South Africa.

The Cosafa Women’s Championship has eluded Namibia for so many years, but coach Woody Jacobs and his squad are determined to rewrite that narrative.

Hosted by South Africa later this year, the Cosafa Women’s Championship is a major target for the Gladiators, and the friendly matches against Lichtenstein provide a crucial opportunity to get in the necessary game time, according to Jacobs.

Lichtenstein’s women’s team is a relatively new outfit, having only debuted internationally in 2021. They are not FIFA-ranked and rely heavily on players competing in neighboring Switzerland due to there being only three women’s football clubs in Liechtenstein.

Despite the apparent disparity, Namibian coach Woody Jacobs isn’t taking these friendlies lightly. He views them as crucial preparation for the Cosafa tournament. “There’s nothing friendly about these friendlies,” Jacobs emphasized. He wants to maximize this opportunity to ensure his team is ready for Cosafa.

The Gladiators wasted no time getting down to business, holding their first training session this morning (Wednesday) at the FC Ruggell training center, surrounded by the majesty of the Swiss Alps and the Hoher Kasten mountains. Jacobs was pleased with the team’s response after the long journey and is optimistic it will translate well into the games.

“We want to use these friendlies to prepare for the Cosafa Women’s Championship, a tournament that has been elusive for us,” Jacobs stated.

He acknowledges Liechtenstein’s lack of ranking but views them as a “first-world country, a European nation,” and believes these matches will provide valuable game time and the right mindset for the upcoming Cosafa challenge.

Adding depth to the squad, Germany-based players Vewe Kotjipati and Nicole Philander joined the 17 players who traveled from Namibia, giving coach Jacobs more options to work with.

Team doctor Hilma Uugwanga reported a clean bill of health for the Gladiators, with no injuries leading into the first friendly.

Captain Lovisa Mulunga echoed coach Jacobs’ sentiment, expressing the team’s readiness for the upcoming clash.

Both friendly matches, on 11 and 14 July, will be played in Ruggell and no longer in Zurich as initially planned.