Mannetti happy with Warriors’ fitness levels

Windhoek: With next month’s 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Senegal drawing near, Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti has expressed much satisfaction with the players’ fitness levels.

The Brave Warriors have for the past few weeks been hard at work preparing for the Senegal clash, slated for September 5 in Windhoek. For the training camp, Mannetti called up a total of 17 home-based players.

“We were trying to assess the fitness levels of our players and I must confess that despite it being pre-season, most players are well on course. But we will need to do more to get them to international football level by the time Senegal comes to town. The response from the boys was very good and their attitude to improve is encouraging as well,” says Mannetti.

The reigning Cosafa Cup champions, Brave Warriors, lost their opening 2017 AFCON qualifier 1-0 against Niger, and will have to win against Senegal at home to remain in contention for a place in Gabon come 2017.

“We will have another training session with all the foreign-based players, including the locals. It will be a crucial game for us and we will do whatever necessary, with the support of the NFA, to make sure we get an ideal result against Senegal,” Mannetti says.

The team was involved in training games against Tigers and Tura Magic, where four players missed the matches due to various reasons. “Joslin Kamatuka was not available due to school commitments; Charles Uirab was absent due to work. We also missed Dennis Tjetjinda and Itamunua Keimuine due to injuries. Otherwise, all went well and we expect things to improve and get better,” says Mannetti. Namibia is in Group K with Niger, Senegal and Burundi.