Congo and Lollo Dropped

0
9

By Confidence Musa WINDHOEK Former Brave Warriors skipper Johannes Congo Hindjou has been dropped from the Cosafa squad due to meet the Seychelles this Saturday. Evergreen Congo and Lollo Goraseb were left out of the camp together with four other players – Andrew Tjahikika (African Stars), Percy Khairabeb (Touch and Go), Nelson Geingob (Chief Santos) and Victor Helu (Ramblers). The axing piles pressure on the midfielder who became unattached to any local club after being off-loaded by Civics at the close of last season. There are now 26 players in camp and the number is still expected to be trimmed to 25 tomorrow by coach Ben Bamfuchile. Helu’s exit from the squad comes thick after his disappearance from a transfer ceremony which was supposed to see him being taken up by Angolan side Sagrada. Helu is said to have snubbed the US$10 000 per month that the club was offering him, leaving his agents and his club dumbfounded. Primer de Agosto was in the country for friendly matches with the then invitational team. Helu went AWOL from the national team camp, until Premier de Agosto left the country prompting the national coach’s disapproval of his behavior. Coach ‘Big Ben’ took the team through its paces yesterday afternoon with South African based players George Hummel, Paulus Shipanga and Hartman Toromba rejoining the squad. Team manager Markus Damaseb confirmed that Moroka Swallows kingpin and last year’s scorer in the Cosafa, Henrico Botes, will retain his armband. Said Damaseb, “There have not been changes to the captaincy.” The training sessions watched from the stands by Under-20 coach Bobby Samaria and Civics manager Paul Straumus gave a hint of Big Ben’s expectations on Saturday. Slippery forwards, Freedom Puriza and premier league top goal scorer Heini Isaacs appear to be in Bamfuchile’s school of thought. In yesterday’s session, the coach seemed more content in spicing the wings. Nelson Akwenye had a fare share from the right. In defense, Hummel, Hartman Toromba and gangly Michael Pienaar had a good day in the office, as Bamfuchile used them to tinker his tactics. Even defensive winger Jamunovandu Ngatjizeko got the coach’s blessings as he kept unleashing long-range shots at goalies Esau Tjiouro and Athiel Mbaha. A former defender during his heydays, Big Ben is slowly creating an oasis of inspiration, artistry and steadiness in the back line. With more than eight foreign-based nationals, Namibia will be the only side with more foreign-based players in the four-nation tournament. Malawi, which plays Zambia in the first match on Saturday, only obtained captain Peter Mponda and Robert Ngambi from South Africa. Zambia will only have goalkeeper Kennedy Mwene and defender Clive Hachilensa from South Africa. However, there is still a mood of uncertainty in the national team coach, as Ben Bamfuchile has not yet been officially unveiled as coach and fans have not had a glimpse of the Zambian mentor. There has been no response from the NFA secretary general’s office. The secretary general Alfeus Gawaseb has also not given reasons as to why the Brave Warriors turned down recent invitations by Botswana for a friendly match before Cosafa. Botswana has played friendly matches with both Malawi and Zambia, which are also pieces of this weekend’s jigsaw. Zambia drew nil-all with Zimbabwe last weekend while the Brave Warriors engaged a defenseless defense force side as part of its preparations, winning 5-0.The Brave Warriors practice sessions were out of pocket money as evidenced by the medical team borrowing the medical kit and resources from the Under-20 camp. Despite calling in influential foreign-based players, Namibia is the only team to have played the least number of friendlies. The Pirates of Seychelles emerged victors in a tri-nations tournament which featured Tanzania and Mauritius last month. Namibia played Seychelles in 2000 in the qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea. After a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the home leg, Seychelles succumbed to a 0-3 defeat in Namibia in the return leg encounter. Four players -ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ Nelson Sopha, Philip Zialor, Verna Rose, Jude Ladouce and Godfrey Denis – are the survivors of the team who played in those two matches. There have also been questions on the appointment of assistant coach Brian Isaacs and goalkeepers’ coach Ronnie Kanalelo. Both men were not personal nominations of the national team coach as previously agreed .Without the unveiling of Bamfuchile, the NFA is still to answer on who has appointed Bamfuchile’s lieutenants.