Brave Gladiators have no medic: Coach

WINDHOEK: The senior national women’s football team coach says her team has been deprived use of the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura to prepare for a crucial competition in October this year.

Namibia will host and compete in the Telecom Namibia Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Championship from 11 to 25 October.

Jacqueline Shipanga told Nampa on Thursday, ahead of her team’s friendly match against their South African counterparts here on Saturday that their preparations could have been better.

“My team has been deprived of the opportunity to train at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, where we will play most of our games. We also don’t have a medical doctor assigned to the team on a part-time or full-time basis, and if players get injured, they will be out of action for a long time,” she lamented.

Shipanga said the Sam Nujoma Stadium is mostly used by local football clubs for training, leaving her players to use the training grounds at the Football House’s Technical Centre only.

The coach further said she is in another dilemma regarding her players who ply their trade in Germany.

Two German-based players, Lorraine Jossop and Vewe Kotjipati, could not be granted leave of absence for the match against South Africa.

The coach said apart from playing football, the two players also have other jobs in Germany.

“This is affecting our preparations for the championship, as there are not many players whom one can pick from,” she noted.

Shipanga added that much more needs to be done by the sponsors and the football association to keep the ‘Brave Gladiators’ in camp for at least three months.

“The girls are in and out of camp, and this is affecting them because they don’t keep fit when they go out of camp. They also don’t eat nutritious food as required when they are at home.

That is why it will be important to have them in camp, and we can then give them diets which they can stick to while we prepare for the competition,” stated the coach.

The African Women’s Championship is also being used as qualifiers for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.