Trainer Blasts Squad; Helu Out!


By Confidence Musariri WINDHOEK The Brave Warriors’ preparations for the make or break tie with Libya were met with harsh words from local athletics trainer Lucky Gawanab who had a few stints with the squad the past three days. Gawanab, famed for training local greats such as Frank Fredericks and Agnes Samaria, watched the team’s practice session yesterday afternoon after having taken them through their sprinting paces. “These boys are too lazy. It’s not the problem of not scoring. It’s because they cannot run. They gave me three days with the team but I need three weeks for them to be able to run and then shoot at goal,” said Gawanab. The trainer laughed at suggestions that maybe the players can only run when in possession of a ball. “We need to be frank about our national team if we have an idea of winning. These players start panting heavily after 15 minutes of exercise and you cannot blame the coach for such individual weakness. How can they turn and shoot the ball when already they are squatting after a 100-metre sprint?” According to Gawanab, who also runs the Golden Cheaters Athletic club, the team needs to be taken to the gym and the association (NFA) needs to put more professional people like psychologists and physical fitness experts with the team. “It is not only the coach’s duty, especially if the team is physically weak like this,” he said. Added Gawanab, “I do not follow soccer much, but I have heard that there is a problem with the strikers and within three days I have discovered these boys cannot run. And we should accept that and the NFA should recruit more specialists for the players to be moulded better.” Meanwhile, coach Ben Bamfuchile made the surprise exclusion of midfielder Victor Helu last night and kept the Katupose twins, Muna and Tara. The Epupa Eleven twins looked out of place at training yesterday amidst the seven foreign-based nationals and a host of other seasoned premiership stars. As Bamfuchile made last-minute touches to the team yesterday, his probable squad seems to suggest that Angolan-based Merrai Swartbooi has taken over the duty of Helu. Bamfuchile clad his probable starting team in green bibs while the other players wore orange bibs. Oliver Risser had a domineering presence in yesterday’s session and so did Collin Benjamin and Letu ‘Lua Lua’Shatimuene. Robert Nauseb retuned to assume his skipper’s armband and Abisai Shiningayamwe was combative in goal for the team in green bibs. The team makes its final preps. Probable Final Line-Up: 1. Abisai Shiningayamwe; 2. Franklin April; 3. Michael Pienaar; 4. Maleagi Ngarizemo; 5. Gotlieb Nakuta; 6. Oliver Risser; 7. Letu Shatimuene; 8. Collin Benjamin; 9. Meraai Swartbooi; 10. Sidney Plaatjies; 11. Robert Nauseb.