By John Tuerijama
BRAVE Warriors coach, Ricardo Mannetti, has shrugged off criticism, following his side’s recent 1-0 loss to Guinea-Bissau, and says his eyes are now steadfastly fixed on the upcoming Cosafa Castle Cup quarterfinal clash against Lesotho on Saturday, 1 July.
The Cosafa tournament is taking place in South Africa from 25 June to 9 July.
Unlike the Baby Warriors, who will not be able to defend their 2016 Under-17 Cosafa Cup title, due to the financial constraints being experienced by the Namibia Football Association (NFA), the Brave Warriors will be in South Africa to compete.
Responding to questions from Confidente, Mannetti said the match fitness of his players will once again to be tested at the Cosafa Castle Cup, but added that his immediate worry is “team harmony” on the pitch, since the match against Guinea-Bissau on 10 June was their first since September last year.
Commenting on the upcoming Lesotho clash, the Brave Warriors mentor said each game is different and that their opponents cannot be taken lightly. He said the team’s objective at the Cosafa Cup is to win. He added that the nation should change its mindset about the team, especially after their Cosafa Cup triumph in 2015. “The time has come for everyone to change their mindset about the Brave Warriors. We worked so hard to improve, which we have done,” said the coach.
“We improved our FIFA ranking from 130 to 94, and we won the Cosafa Cup for the first time, and the Plate Final last year, meaning we are on the right track, but it is very disturbing to see the effect of politics on our game,” Mannetti said. The former Civics midfielder said he is not happy, because the current infighting within football has compromised what he and his charges have built over the past years he said people continue with their crusade of criticising the team, but their success depends on all stakeholders, from government, all the way down to the Brave Warriors technical team, and the players. “If we love football and love the Brave Warriors, than lets act the part, where we can achieve so much more if we invest and join hands.”
The 22-man squad for Cosafa Castle Cup is as follows: Virgil Vries, Maximilian Mbaeva, Chris Katjiukua, Ferdinard Karongee, Gebhardt Ananias, Larry Horaeb, Denzil Haoseb, Welwin !Hanamub, Tiberius Lombard, Oswaldo Xamseb, Dynamo Fredericks, Wangu Baptista Gome, Petrus Shitembi, Absalom Iimbodi, Hendrik Somaeb, Benyamen Nenkuva, Ronald Ketjijere, Deon Hotto, Peter Shalilule, Kumbee Roger Katjiteo, Itamunua Keimuine and Loydt Kazapua
Rudolph Haingura (head of delegation), Ricardo Mannetti (head coach), Fillemon Kanalelo (assistant coach), Tim Isaacs (team manager), Hernandez Armaura (medical officer), Jacob Amaning ( assistant manager), Charl Botha (fitness trainer), Herman January (goalkeeper coach) and Immanuel Mungendje (kit manager)
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015