By John Tuerijama
BRAVE Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti, who counted on the talent of the MTC Premiership top goal scorers for today’s (Thursday) international friendly match against Swaziland is a worried man after strikers called failed to produce traveling document (passports).
Dubbed as the country’s illustrious national head coach, Mannetti had to leave out Marius Hashipala (Blue Waters FC), Joseph Nghifindwako (Eleven Arrows) and Willem Pinehas.
Because of some players failure to produce passports, the team left late on Wednesday as they were attempting to solve the passport problem. The international friendly match scheduled for Swaziland, is not an International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) recognized friendly match but is in celebration of Swaziland King Mswati III 50th birthday celebration. Mannetti said that he called up the four MTC Premiership top goal scorers, to vie for their inclusion in today’s international friendly. The 20 players, who made the final cut had a one day training session at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. The top strikers called are African Stars’ Panduleni Nekudi and Tura Magic striker Itamunua Keimune who are on 13 goals each; while coastal sides LHU Blue Waters marksman Marius Hashipala and Eleven Arrows frontman Joseph Nghifindwako both on 10 goals each also made it for the derby. The head coach also invited Life Fighters Kleopas Useb, who has netted ten goals for the Otjiwarongo-based outfit. Sadly, co-leading top goal scorer, African Stars’ marksman, Pandeleni Nekundi has been dropped from the Swaziland international fixture after picking up an injury.Also out of action for tonight encounter, is Mighty Gunners duo Kennedy Eib and Vernon Klaasen while Tigers FC skipper Absalom Imbondi , is another unfortunate player not to make the Swaziland trip due injury sustained.
Mannetti told Confidente on Wednesday that it will be injustice on his part, to take a player like Nekundi and others for a match that is not FIFA accredited.“These are small knocks picked up by players, and it is not that these players are injured for the rest of football season but I do not want to aggravate their injuries as they still have to play the remaining matches in the season including the NFA Debmarine.” The head coach has, however, admitted that the call up was a bit short notice, and strikers called up such as Hashipala, Pineas and Nghfindwako were struggling with passport problems and had to be left behind. Mannetti’s hope is now on Tigers FC Mapenzi Muwanei and Tura Magic goals-poacher Itamunua Keimuine to cause havoc in the Swaziland defence.
The coach said that Black Africa’s charges have been omitted because the team’s leadership requested the Brave Warriors technical staff not to call BA’s players since the team is preparing for the NFA Debmarine Cup.
The team that left for Swaziland on Wednesday, is anticipated to have a daunting task since the Brave Warriors edged Swaziland in the 2017 Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Cup. Mannetti, who called up over ten new players of which some are likely to make their debut in Swaziland today will be guided by Captain Ronald Ketjijere. The coach who congratulated African Stars for winning the 2017/18 football season, said that he will look at new combination going forward. “We will not have foreign-based players since it is not a FIFA recognized match. And since we will not have players from Black Africa, this will be a blessing in disguise for the new players to fight for positions.
“We did not call up Orlando Pirates’ Riaan Hanamub for the international friendly match against Lesotho because he was nursing an injury, but now that he has fully recovered we have invited him for the Swaziland international friendly match. “This is an experimentation thus I did not call some players who the public wanted to see perhaps we have overlooked some players,” stressed Mannetti.
He said though it is not a FIFA recognized international friendly match he still wants a good game against Swaziland.
“I still expect goals against Swaziland and this form part of our preparation for this year’s COSAFA CUP,” he said. Mannetti expressed dissatisfaction with the goal keeping department saying that it is not a ‘standout department’. He said though the three goalkeepers called have had their ups and downs in their career, they had to fight it out and only two goalkeepers made the trip yesterday. The head coach said that though he has called up over ten new players, he has about seven old players to have stability and experience in the team to avoid any compromise.
He said most players called are from Tigers FC and Young African FC.“We need to give a good account of ourselves against Swaziland,” said Mannetti.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015