By John Tuerijama
THE Namibian Under-17 national football team jetted off to Mauritius to compete in the COSAFA Under- 17 Championship which starts this weekend.
The team’s coach, Timo Tjongarero, said although the aim is to do as well as possible in the competition, his focus is primarily on the Africa Under-17 Championships which kick off few weeks after the regional competition has concluded.
The Baby Warriors, as the youthful side is affectionately known, will take on Congo (Brazzaville) in August in Windhoek while their away match is scheduled a fortnight later in the central African country’s capital.
Tjongarero said although preparations went well, the technical team faced a challenge with some of the players who are doing Grade 10 at various schools and who have had to be excused from camp to prepare for the examinations.
As part of the preparations, the Baby Warriors played two friendly matches against the TISAN team (university national team), as well as one match against an Under-19 national side.
Tjongarero said he was impressed with the fitness levels of most of his players after those friendlies and during practice sessions.
Namibia will face host Mauritius in their opening match and will then face Seychelles and South Africa, all teams making up Group A of the youth tournament. Group B comprises Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Madagascar.
Following the withdrawal of Mozambique from the competition, the organisers have invited Kenya as a guest nation.
Mozambique is unable to send a team because they had already committed to another youth tournament in in the Cape Verde that clashes with the southern African championship.
The list of Namibian players for the COSAFA Under 17 tournament are: Philipus Josef, Godwin Awaseb, Johannes Hollombach, Lubeni Haukongo, Immanuel Isaya, Dawid Morgan Jr, Helmuth Namaseb, Stanley Ndjavera, Mbakondja Tjahikika, Vaino Uugwanga, Aljarreuh Zaahl, Pitsi Amseb, Alex Kaongelwa, Mathias Shipanga, Richard Larksman, Giovani Kaninab, Stevano Dundee, Denzil Narib, Junior Petrus and Megameno Kapuku.
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