By Confidence Musariri WINDHOEK Forgotten Civics forward Floris Diergaardt has deservedly bulldozed his way into the national team, months after coming out of forced retirement. The striker adds the pile of options that coach Ben Bamfuchile is searching for after the CAF suspension of captain and prolific forward Henrico Botes. Bamfuchile has been on a witch-hunt for an all-out attacker, hence the decision to try Floris Diergaadrt. The Civics front-man had exiled himself from soccer for the past two years but will have to contend for the first team jersey with dangerous Ramblers forward Bradley Wermann, when the Brave Warriors date Botswana’s Zebras on February 7 in Gaberone. The coach’s well-received mixed start with the Brave Warriors suffered a huge uppercut blow when Botes was banned by CAF from international matches until the group stages of the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana. Wermann and Diergaardt are the league’s current danger-men and their inclusion in the squad might provide a reprieve for Bamfuchile. Diergaardt last played for the national squad in 2004 while Wermann has been a regular during his days in the Under 17, Under 20 and of late, the Under 23 side. Wermann, a blood brother to Quinton Jacobs, is one of the reasons why Ramblers find themselves on top of the local premiership table. However, the debut of former Blue Waters and Premiero Agosto (Angola) midfielder Marreai Levy Swartbooi, who is on an off-season break from the Angolan champions, still remains hazy in the national team. The midfielder returned to Luanda recently and Bamfuchile’s advisors remain hopeful that the club will release him for the Botswana friendly from their off-season tour. Agosto have been training in Tunisia recently. However, nightmares continue to haunt Bamfuchile as two of the Brave Warrior’s most trusted lieutenants, Athiel Mbaha and Costa Kheiseb, are currently not employed because of contractual obstacles. Both do not have clubs at the moment although their ‘former club’, Black Leopards, is yet to communicate the players’ position with the national association, (NFA). National team manager Tim Isaacs, when asked, said Bamfuchile would have loved fielding SKW striker Arend von Stryk amongst his attacking bets, but the gangly striker is currently in crutches following a social soccer off-season injury. The Botswana friendly match is also preparatory for the not-so-easy job that the Brave Warriors will undertake when they fly to Tripoli, Libya, in March for the second Group 10 African qualifiers match. A victory against the Zebras of Botswana will boost the country’s position in the FIFA standings, which will be rearranged on February 14. It is Namibia’s second friendly in months, having lost 3-2 in Zimbabwe last November. Bamfuchile has kept faith in the South African quartet of Moroka Swallows’ George Hummel; Robert Nauseb of Santos; Jomo Cosmos’ bald-headed Sidney Plaatjies and goalie Abisai Shiningayamwe, the reserve goal keeper of Jomo Cosmos. The foreign bandwagon is expected to join the Brave Warriors in Johannesburg, according to Isaacs where the squad will take a connector flight to Gaberone. “It’s a midweek game, so we do not need to disrupt their club engagements too much,” said the team manager. The local warriors go into camp this Sunday and will only be released for the weekend matches on the 3rd, said Isaacs.
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