Under-20 national football team coach James Britz says preparations for the upcoming Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) qualifier set for Eswatini have progressed well despite starting late due to exams.
Speaking to Nampa at the training ground, Britz said they have trimmed the squad from the original 40 to 29, seven of whom travelled with the Young Warriors to Angola for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
“We now have an idea of who will make it to the final 20, we will hand in the final squad to the organisers on Thursday. We have high expectations going into the tournament. Two years ago we finished as runners-up, but this time around we will aim to do one better,” he said.
Namibia was drawn into Group B along with South Africa, Mozambique, Comoros and Malawi, with Britz saying they played three of their four opponents in the last tournament, with South Africa replacing Zambia.
“I think there is hope, we want to go through and we believe we will go through. Our second-place finish the last time we played in this tournament is a benchmark for us to do even better. Namibia is no longer an underdog in the Cosafa region, it’s the team to beat,” Britz explained.
He added that recent performances by the Brave Warriors and Gladiators have made teams in the region take note of Namibia.
The Cosafa U-20 tournament will be used as qualifiers for the 17th edition of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for Egypt in 2023.
That tournament will then serve as the qualifier for the 2023 U-20 Fifa World Cup slated for Indonesia.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency