Team in good shape and ready for Gambia: Mannetti

WINDHOEK: National senior football team coach Ricardo Mannetti said the Brave Warriors have settled in well in Gambia and are ready to battle with their West African opponents.

Namibia will play its 2018 International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) World Cup preliminary round against Gambia in Banjul on Friday.

Speaking to Nampa on Thursday Mannetti said the team arrived in Gambia on Monday and he is happy with the treatment they have received thus far.

“Everything is going well at the moment. The players are in good shape. The food, hotel plus the training ground and the rest of the treatment we are receiving so far in good, I am happy the Gambian people has welcomed us in this way,” said Mannetti.

He added that the team travelled very early to Gambia to acclimatize to the weather and looking at how things are going so far he is happy.

“It is very humid in Gambia and since our arrival on Monday they players have been adjusting to the weather very well during our training sessions.

“I am very happy that we have not recorded any injuries in the camp and we are now looking forward to working on the players psychological set up of not winning away games,” he said.

“I can tell you that this struggle of losing our away games has been there even when I was a player myself, but we hope this time around it will be a different story,” stated Mannetti.

He stressed that their aim is to not get booked and prepare players mentally for the aggressive crowd they will face on Friday afternoon.

“We are expecting to play in a packed stadium and this are things that our players are not used to. And despite the crowd this players will play in humid weather tomorrow, something which is also new to most of them, but I believe with us coming earlier here we will be able to compete tomorrow,” echoed Mannetti.

Mannetti also told this agency that Namibia’s injured striker Peter Shalulile who was left out of the team has started with light training at his club in South Africa and if he passes the fitness test over the weekend he will be available for the teams return leg in Windhoek.

Namibia will play its return leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier on 13 October at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

The Brave Warriors were last active on 05 September when they lost 0-2 to Senegal in the 2017 African Nations Cup (Afcon) qualifiers.