Warriors Eye Cosafa Progress

BRAVE Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti says improving on the previous edition’s showing is the primary objective for Namibia when their latest Cosafa Cup aenture begins in South Africa later this month.

Namibia will kick-start the tournament on 17 May when they face the Seychelles at the mining village of Moruleng in Rustenburg.

Their group also include Cosafa Cup powerhouse Zimbabwe, who have four regional titles to their name, and Mauritius.

When announcing his 20-man squad for the tournament yesterday, Mannetti said he believed his current crop can do much better than the quarter-final finish in Zambia last year when Namibia came unstuck against current hosts South Africa.

The tournament runs until 30 May.

“The objective is to get out of the group where Zimbabwe is the biggest obstacle and then after that we will see how much farther we can get,” Mannetti told The Namibian Sport.

Of the 20 players, no less than 11 are experienced foreign-based professionals, which is a show of intent of his desire to progress to the latter stages of the competition.

The team also has a sprinkling of newcomers to the international fold in the form of MTC Namibia Premier League top scorer Nicky Musambani, the versatile Peter Shalulile, and Gregory Aukumeb.

“One has to be careful not to have too many faces in the team but at the same time you also need to freshen things up a bit to keep the edge in the team,” he said.

“I have faith in this team. I want us to do much better than we did in Zambia.

“We have a better squad than in the previous tournament. There’s more depth and variety which will allow us to cope better with playing matches so close to each other,” Mannetti added.

Namibia will use the Cosafa Cup as a yardstick for the subsequent 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers in which the Brave Warriors will be up against Zambia’s Chipolopolo.

Namibia will host Zambia in Windhoek on 20 June with the return leg scheduled for 4 July in Lusaka.

The winner of the tie will then take on the winners of the Mozambique versus Seychelles preliminary round encounter for a place in Rwanda 2016.

“We need to create a good vibe ahead of the Chan and Afcon qualifiers. The only way to do that is to get positive results,” said Mannetti.

The squad: Virgil Vries, Maximillian Mbaeva, Willem Mwedihanga, Chris Katjiukua, Denzil Haoseb, Ananias Gebhardt, Gregory Aukumeb, Denis Ngueza Tjetjinda, Neville Tjiueza, Hendrik Somaeb, Peter Shalulile, Ronald Ketjijere (captain), Wangu Batista Gome, Joslin Kamatuka, Petrus Shitembi, Deon Hotto, Ryno Nicky Musambani, Henrico Botes, Sadney Urikhob and Benson Shilongo.

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Source : The Namibian