THE 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) draw was finally conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last Friday, and the pride of the nation, the Brave Warriors, is pitted in Group B against Ivory Coast, Uganda and Zambia.
Head coach Ricardo Mannetti knows what’s at stake, and I suggest that the national team technical committee submits a request to the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to have as many international friendly matches as possible, before the boys depart for Morocco for the continental showpiece.
We have already been informed by the head coach that the Brave Warriors will have a foreign training camp, where they are likely to be play against clubs or national teams.
An important ingredient, in any recipe being cooked for the Brave Warriors to advance beyond the group stages, is that they play enough friendly matches, to fully equip the boys for the challenge that lies ahead. Why the secrecy then, especially from the side of the NFA? The national football body has never been forthcoming as to whether there is a budget to secure international friendly matches, especially after the Brave Warriors have qualified for the finals of a competition.
I don’t know if one of Mannetti’s responsibilities is to submit a programme to the NFA Secretariat or whether he is ever briefed on the budget constraints being faced by the NFA.
It’s time that the national football body secretariat becomes transparent, together with Mannetti, and informs the nation about the upcoming fixture list for the Warriors.
We expect the Brave Warriors to do extremely well, and if they fail to deliver, critics will undoubtedly be shooting from the hip, when commenting on the team’s preparations, in the build-up to the 2018 CHAN finals.
Looking at the draw, the first obstacle for the Brave Warriors is to overcome Ivory Coast on 14 January. This match is expected to be a daunting task, but if there are thorough preparations, I am sure that Ivory Coast will not be a headache for the boys. Sure, the Ivorian players will have a height advantage and the physicality to outmanoeuvre our boys, but the Brave Warriors smaller physique could definitely count in their favour.
It’s important for the Brave Warriors to secure their first win, and I hope that Mannetti has watched the qualifying matches of Ivory Coast and Uganda, as both these nations have towering players, who can cause havoc at any given time, to our defence. The objective, according to Mannetti, is to proceed beyond the group stages, and that can only be realised if we beat Ivory Coast and Uganda, who we are scheduled to meet on 18 January, before taking on Zambia on 22 January.
I implore Mannetti to study the qualifying matches.
It’s not that I am underestimating the Zambians, but it’s important that we upset our two initial opponents, and that objective must be inculcated into the minds of our players.
The mission is to reach the semi-finals of the competition, and I have no doubt whatsoever that our boys can surely be the surprise package of the competition. The Brave Warriors need our support, and the NFA leadership needs negotiate with Air Namibia for possible discounts, to have supporters travel to Morocco.
I, for one, will be highly disappointed if the NFA leadership has to date not knocked on Air Namibia’s door to do just that.
Our boys need our moral support, both here at home and in Morocco. Let’s have that culture of rallying behind our boys.
They need that, and if the NFA can negotiate to have just 200 supporters fly to Morocco, at a discount, it will boost the Brave Warrior’s morale!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015