Warriors to Charter a Plane to Congo

The NFA is planning to charter a 110-seated plane from Air Namibia and has offered Brave Warriors supporters a chance to go with the team, although they still had to determine a price. The flight will leave from Windhoek on Saturday, May 31, and will include one night’s accommodation in Pointe Noire, before the return flight on Sunday, 1 June.

At a press conference in Windhoek on Tuesday, NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro said it would be a great opportunity for Namibian supporters and called on Brave Warriors fans to support the team.

“We would normally have to fly about three days but now we can charter a plane which takes us to Point Noire in three hours. But it’s not cheap, so we want to do cost sharing with the fans of the Brave Warriors – it’s now time to show your support for the team. If we have about 100 Namibian fans there it will help a lot and will give us a good chance for a good result. We will fly on Saturday and return on Sunday, so this is a great opportunity that must be grabbed with both hands,” he said.

Meanwhile, national coach Ricardo Mannetti announced one addition to his 24-man squad, bringing in veteran striker Henrico Botes. Mannetti said Botes’ experience would be crucial in Congo.

“Henrico’s record speaks for itself. He’s a leading goal scorer for his club, we are going for an away match and I’d love to have a senior player on board. There will be a tactic that will be suitable for him and he can also help the younger guys and ease their nerves,” he said.

Mannetti said it would be a difficult assignment but he had a lot of faith in his side.

“A 1-0 scoreline is not very comfortable. We will have to play much better than we played here, but I think a victory is possible and I have all the faith in my team. On Saturday we made impossible passes look possible. I’ll go with players who can keep ball possession and from there, we will create chances. This Namibian team always creates chances and that’s what we will do,” he said.

Mannetti said his substitute’s bench had played a big role in Saturday’s victory at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

“What was key once again was the bench and the substitutes and somehow its become a trend, each time the sub scores. It took a lot of hard work to get the bench ready. Shitembi made it perfect and I decided to put Bester in a more aanced position, right ahead, because I saw that Congo’s central defenders were not so mobile and I needed mobility. So it was key to put on a runner to make intelligent runs.”

Mannetti praised his defence and particularly Denzil Haoseb, who he played out of position at right back.

“Ive coached Denzil for six years and I know his capabilities. He’s not a seasoned right back, but he did well – he faced a tricky opponent who plays in Russia, but managed to keep him quiet.”

Mannetti also reiterated his support for goalkeeper Virgil Vries, after a poor spell that kept him out of the team since July last year.

‘Virgil Vries has always been our number one. He was off for a while, but we did not throw him away and it was just up to us to get our timing right. Now he’s got his confidence back and he was not troubled at all against Congo.”

Mannetti thanked Rukoro for chartering a plane, saying it would help his team a lot.

“It will be heaven for my players to fly in, sleep one night, play the game, and get out again. Gone are the days of jet lag and so on, we need to look at this from a professional point of view, so I’d like to thank the secretary general for that.”

He said they were expecting a tough match and hostile atmosphere in Congo

“Point Noire means ‘Black Point’ and they want to make it hell for all the teams that go there. But we are confident we want to make it difficult for Congo and we won’t give them an opportunity to come at us,” he said.

“We have good ball players who can keep the ball, like Willy Stephanus, Rudolf Bester, Heini Isaacks, Lazarus Kaimbi and Hendrik Somaeb. Their coach did not expect to see such a well drilled team as ours,” he added.

Source : The Namibian