By John Tuerijama
VETERAN striker Muna Katupose, who was instrumental in the Brave Warriors qualifying for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals, when he headed home two goals against Comoros, has welcomed the challenge to compete for a berth in the final squad, which will feature in tournament for the first time, as Group B underdogs.
Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti announced a 31-man squad this week and is set to trim them down to the final 23 players by 2 January 2018. The CHAN finals are set to take place in Morocco later in January. Asked about his chances of making the final cut for Morocco, Katupose told Confidente this week that he will be working extremely hard, in order to regain his fitness levels, after having nursed a right knee injury.
“I know the decision lies with the head coach, but after working on the target that I have set up for myself, I confidently think that my speed and experience does count for something,” stressed Katupose.
The University of Namibia (Unam) FC seasoned striker is the only player in the current squad who has continental experience, after having represented Namibia at the 2008 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) held in Ghana. Asked about his injury, Katupose, who is the twin brother of Tara Katupose, said that his right knee has shown tremendous improvement, and thanked the medics for a job well done.
Katupose said that the strikers called up for the training camp are all good players, and are comprised of those who have speed, a height advantage, individual brilliance and experience.
“It’s really a combination of what I think the coach wants, as we have different talents that could be beneficial to the team,” said Katupose. Although they are regarded as Group B underdogs, the striker echoed Mannetti’s sentiments and confidence that they will be progressing well beyond the group stages.
The Brave Warriors will open their campaign against Ivory Coast on 14 January at the Stade de Marrakech, before engaging Uganda on 18 January at the same venue, while their final group encounter is scheduled to take place against Southern African Development Community (SADC) sister country Zambia on 22 January in Casablanca at the Stade Mohamed.
“Well, this is a competition being played by domestic players in their various home leagues, and I am not really afraid of Ivory Coast or Uganda, as we will be taking the matches a step at a time,” he said. “I really have the same thought as my coach, that we will progress beyond the group stages,” said the striker.
Katupose’s competitors in the Brave Warriors striking department are Roger Kumbee Katjiteo, Junias Theophilus, Panduleni Nekundi, Hendrick Somaeb and Kleopas Useb.
The 31-man Brave Warriors squad is as follows:
Edward Maova (Civics FC), Charles Uirab (Unam FC), Loydt Kazapua (African Stars FC), Calvyn Spiegel (Chief Santos FC), Ferdinard Karongee (Tigers FC), Kennedy Eib (Chief Santos FC), Tjiuana-Tja Tjatindi (African Stars FC), Hubert Mingeri (Life Fighters FC), Charles Hambira (Tura Magic FC), Edmund Kambanda (Unam FC), Martin Emilio (Black Africa SC), Tiberius Lombard ( Tura Magic FC), Vitapi Punyu Ngaruka (Black Africa SC), Riaan !Hanamub (Orlando Pirates FC), Gregory Auchumeb (Blue Waters FC), Immanuel Heita (Black Africa SC), Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa SC), Oswaldo Xamseb (Tura Magic FC), Penda Mongudhi (Young Chiefs FC), Ronald Ketjijere (African Stars FC), Wangu Babtista Gome (Civics FC), Petrus Shitembi (Tura Magic FC), Absalom Iimbondi (Tigers FC) and Himeezembi Hengombe (Young African FC)
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015