By John Tuerijama
BRAVE Warriors head coach, Ricardo Mannetti, says the 10 points needed to book a place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament slated for Cameroon are within reach, provided that preparations continue unhindered. Speaking to Confidente on the team’s preparation for the upcoming AFCON qualifier encounter against Zambia early next month, Mannetti said the local charges called up for the training are yet to reach the level of fitness he desperately needs. The coach is, however, concerned with a number of his attacking players like Hendrick Somaeb and Panduleni Nekundi who picked up injuries during the recent Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) tournament. “These are mostly my attacking players. Willem Pineas is a doubt since he picked up a torn achilles, ruling him out for the next three to four months, while Peter Shalulile will not make the team,” said Mannetti. “I have two groups in the training camp with 70 percent of the players doing very well while the 30 percent are still trailing in terms of fitness and some small knocks and injuries here and there,” said the head coach. Asked about how an international friendly match could have positively impacted the player’s fitness levels, Mannetti said it was unfortunate that the Namibia Football Association (NFA) has no money to schedule an international friendly match. “It’s just not possible though it could have been a perfect scenario. We want to get the 10-points needed because that is our target. We need to win three matches and a draw than our chance of making it to Cameroon will be possible,” said Mannetti. With the provisional team now in training camp for the past three weeks, Mannetti is confident that the players can reach the required fitness level. He further added that the international-based players are expected to join the rest of the team at the end of this month and will have time for the final touches. Namibia is yet to record a win after a 1-0 defeat to Guinea Bissau in June last year while Zambia also has a mammoth task to overcome to have a chance to reach the finals. The Brave Warriors will on 10 October play Mozambique followed by a home tie at the Sam Nujoma stadium on 13 October against the same team. The two final matches are against Guinea Bissau on 16 November followed by their final encounter against Zambia in Lusaka in March next year. The group winner and the runner-up will qualify for Cameroon.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015