UNLIKE what we see with some other sporting bodies, especially given their lacklustre approach when it comes to preparing for international competitions, the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) deserves nothing but praise for ensuring a thorough preparation program for the Welwitchias, ahead of their 2019 World Rugby Cup qualifiers.
Compared to their sister sport bodies, which are known to have organised zero international friendly matches for their national teams, including the national under-20 women football side that was humiliated by South Africa last Sunday in their World Cup qualifier, the RFU is a beacon of hope, amidst the unfolding turmoil.
Something serious must be done to avoid a repeat of the 9-0 aggregate loss suffered by the national under-20 women’s football team, who were defeated 5-0 by South Africa in the first leg of their encounter, before going down 4-0 in the second leg last Sunday.
Not even the return of their star players, who were absent because they were on duty for the Brave Gladiators in the Cosafa Women’s Championship, could stop the rot.
It was clear that our girls needed more preparation, ahead of their clash against South Africa, and it boggles the mind how the NFA Women Department ended up sending them with knives to a gunfight. What a shame!
In contrast, the NRU has announced that Uruguay has accepted an invitation to tour Namibia during November, which will begin the sharpening of our team, ahead of their 2019 World Cup qualifiers, which will take place in June or July next year.
It was welcome news this week that the Brave Warriors will be playing Botswana in a friendly encounter this weekend at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
However, more matches of this kind are needed, if we expect the team to be successful when they make their first-ever appearance at the CHAN finals early next year yet.
The Welwitschias, on the other hand, will play their international encounters on 18 and 25 November. The Welwitschias matches are said to be crucial, in terms of preparing the Namibian team for their World Cup qualification matches next year, while they will also form part of the NRU centennial celebrations.
NRU Acting Chief Executive Officer, Elisma Theron, is making positive strides, yet we have administrators in other sport codes, who are failing dismally to invite neighbouring countries to engage our national teams.
Also, the national netball leadership must be congratulated for hosting the recent five nations’ series, which also featured Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland.
Namibia only returned to the world rankings two months ago after a lengthy absence, after they managed to compete at the African Championships in Kampala, Uganda. A thumbs up also goes to the country’s hockey and the cricket federation, for asking permission from the Namibia Sports Commission to host international tournaments.
We know that the NFA needs about N$12 million to ensure that the country’s participates internationally, but how much is needed to have further international friendly matches, so that the Brave Warriors can sharpen their skills?
I think it’s important that the NFA Secretariat shares this information with the public.
With the kickoff date for the new football season still unknown, I suggest that the NFA organises a further two international friendly matches before the end of the year or perhaps in January next year, to up the competitive edge of our players.
It’s important that the NFA creates a smooth path for the senior national team head coach, Ricardo Mannetti, ahead of the CHAN finals and Afcon qualifiers, because one of the terms of his contract is to have the Brave Warriors qualify for the continental showpiece in Cameroon.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015