Black Africa recalls players from national team

WINDHOEK: Namibia Premier League (NPL) giant Black Africa Football Club has recalled its players from the senior national football team’s training camp currently taking place here.

Senior national football team coach Ricardo Mannetti on Monday called up a group of local football players to attend a training camp ahead of their trip to the 2015 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup.

Mannetti on Tuesday announced a team of 20 players selected for the Cosafa Cup and said he would take 10 additional players to South Africa.

He said he is taking the extra players along to “keep them busy” ahead of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) qualifiers and African Championship of Nations (CHAN) qualifiers.

On Tuesday afternoon, Black Africa recalled their players from the national training camp citing Saturday’s NPL game.

Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, Black Africa coach Ronny Kanalelo said it was a managerial decision to recall players for them to focus on their last league game against UNAM FC.

“It was deemed necessary by team management to recall our players as we are fighting for the top two finish. The calling back of the players was not meant to disrupt the national team’s training camp, but as a team we are really concerned about finishing second in the league after failing to retain our title,” said Kanalelo.

The players that have been recalled are Willy Stephanus, Dynamo Fredericks and Ananias Gebhardt.

Denzil Haoseb was not recalled, as he is not eligible to play in his club’s last game of the season after collecting four yellow cards in the league. He is therefore suspended from playing in the final game of the season.

Black Africa are currently second on the log with 58 points, while Tura Magic is two points away from ending second on the log with 56 points.

Mannetti told Nampa on Wednesday the situation was beyond his jurisdiction, adding that he could not say whether the recalled players will be dropped or recalled to the national team.

“At the moment I have a number of players in the team who are all fighting to travel for Cosafa and Black Africa calling back their players was not wrong, as they’re currently fighting to end second in the league. But I was really looking forward to seeing Dynamo Fredericks at the national training field, as this is the only place I would have personally observed the qualities that he has so far displayed in the second half of the NPL season. Right now, I cannot tell you if I will call back the players or not, as we are still busy training and some players might impress me so I can include them in the team,” he said.

The Brave Warriors will be travelling to Pretoria, South Africa on Sunday where they will meet up with their foreign-based players to attend a one-week training camp at a high-performance sports centre before travelling to Rustenburg, where they will be based for the Cosafa Cup.

Namibia will play their opening game of the Cosafa tournament on 17 May at 15h00 against Seychelles at the Moruleng Stadium in South Africa.

The players that were called up for the Cosafa Cup are:

Goalkeepers: Virgil Vries and Maximillian Mbaeva

Defenders: Willem Mwedihanga; Chris Katjiukua; Denzil Hoaseb; Ananias Gebhardt; Gregory Aukumeb and Dennis Tjetjinda

Midfielders: Hendrik Somaeb; Wangu Batista; Neville Tjiueza; Peter Shalulile; Ronald Katjijere; Joslin Kamatuka; Petrus Shitembi; and Deon Hotto Kavendji.

Strikers: Henrico Botes; Nicky Musambani; Sydney Urikhob and Benson Shilongo.