Penda Jonas Hashoongo
THE recent appointment of Mohammed ‘Slice’ Ouseb to the Brave Warriors’, technical team appears to be a solid attempt at reigniting the spirit that once took Namibia to the 1998 African Cup of Nations.
It is encouraging to see that instead of relying on the expertise of seasoned professionals from other countries, the NFA has whole-heartedly embraced the notion of building within and this is something that should be commended.
Ricardo Mannetti’s decision to look towards his former team-mate and somebody who has been a key figure in local football over the past few years is exactly the sort of approach we need to employ as we look to steer our warriors towards another African Cup of Nations berth.
It’s not enough that we qualify for the AFCON because we have done that on two previous occasions. I am thus, calling on our new technical team to build on what Rusten Mogane and the late Ben Bamfuchile have achieved with the Brave Warriors by advancing to the second round of the African Cup of Nations once they have dispatched of the more imminent task of qualifying for the continental tournament. It should be upon this goal that the incumbent Brave Warriors technical team should be assessed. There is little sense in setting the same mediocre targets for our national team year in and year out.
The fact that we, as a nation, through our national football body, NFA, have placed the national team’s future in the hands of one of its products can only point towards the idea that we would like to return to the glory days that were brought about by the same class of ’98 that now have the same task, albeit in a different capacity.
Manneti, who scored a goal against Ivory Coast, in Namibia’s maiden appearance at the African Cup of Nations in 1998, knows the type of commitment that is required at that level, which is why I feel confident that he, with the support of his former team-mates, is the right man to lead the team to another successful AFCON campaign.
The only aspect that I feel the technical team needs to work on in view of their team’s forthcoming encounter with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is that they players do not appear to appreciate how grand an opportunity it is to represent their country in these competitions. I am hopeful that the inclusion of Ouseb to the technical team will help instil this kind of attitude into the players.
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