… As vast region holds trials this weekend
THE //Karas region, which comprises towns like Karasburg, Oranjemund, Rosh Pinah, Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop, which are separated by huge distances, is determined to clinch a semi-final spot in this year’s Under-17 Skorpion Zinc Cup.
The region failed to win the inaugural edition of the cup in 2014, which it hosted, and is determined to hold successful trials this weekend, ahead of this year’s competition, which will take place from 7 to 10 September in Khomas.
Mining giant, Skorpion Zinc, has injected a cool N$1.4 million into this year’s tournament. Making it to the semi-finals this year will not be a walk in the park for // Karas, who are drawn in Group A against defending champions Omusati, as well as Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Kunene.
//Karas Region Football Association Chairperson, Isack Fredericks, said this week that they are at an advanced stage with their logistical preparations, ahead of this weekend’s trials, despite the vastness of the region.“To be honest, ours is a very complicated situation, as we are arranging to have proper regional trials, which will see the best players representing the entire region at the Skorpion Zinc Cup,” he said.
“We are busy getting updated players’ data from their respective schools, who we can invite, and I am confident that this coming weekend, we will have the successful completion of our trials,” said Fredericks.
“You know //Karas is so vast and comprises of towns such Karasburg, Oranjemund, Rosh Pinah, Lüderitz, Keetmanshoop, as well as villages that want their best players to attend the regional trials.”
Fredericks said that the region’s objective was to at least reach the semi-final stage of the cup competition.
“We really want to achieve a top four place, because we have the talent, and there is no doubt about us having the ability to reach the semi-finals,” he said.
“I wish that the 2017 edition was taking place in the // Karas region, because we are the home of Skorpion Zinc’s operations, which takes place right here in Rosh Pinah. In this regard, I don’t know what the negotiations were between the national football body and the mining company.”
Fredericks said that the region reached the semi-finals stages of the tournament in 2015. He also revealed that there were plans afoot to further develop football in the region, by signing twinning agreements with South African provinces in the future, without going into further detail.
Fredericks said he was confident that the //Karas region will be serious contenders for future local football competitions. This year’s Skorpion Zinc Cup also sees Ohangwena, Khomas, Oshikoto, Erongo and Kavango East drawn in Group B, while Kavango West, Zambezi, Oshana and Hardap will compete in Group C.
Namibia Football Association (NFA) Secretary-General, Barry Rukoro, said this week that the winner of the tournament will receive N$ 25 000, while the runner-up will walk away with N$15 000.
The two semi-finalists will each pocket N$7 500 for their efforts, while the team that wins the Fair Play Award will get N$2 000.
The Player of the Tournament will take home N$3 000, while the best goalkeeper, top goal scorer and the Match Official of the Tournament will pocket N$2 000 each.
Rukoro said that the Man of the Match during each of the 30 games will pocket N$150 each.
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