By Kuvee Kangueehi
The national soccer team caretaker coach Ronnie Kanalelo yesterday at Soccer House announced the team for the Cosafa Castle Cup clash with Botswana this Saturday. The team comprises of local and South African-based players.
The side looks formidable and the only notable absentees are Hamburg-based Collin Benjamin and Henrico Botes who plies his trade in South Africa.
At the press conference yesterday, Brave Warriors team manager Tim Isaacs said that there had been positive news from most foreign clubs on the availability of Namibian nationals for the Cosafa match. However he noted that Botes could not be released by his new club Silver Stars, which has started with pre-season training.
Isaacs said Stars had informed the NFA that they want Botes to settle first at his new club before his joining the national team.
A largely localized Brave Warriors team has been in camp for the past two weeks. Namibia’s opponents, The Zebras of Botswana, have also been busy. They held the Zambian national team to a goalless draw in a friendly played over the weekend , what the Zebras technical team described as a good result which shows the team’s readiness for Namibia.
At the same press conference, the acting secretary general of the NFA announced Kanalelo as the caretaker coach for Ben Bamfuchile who is still recovering from illness. Rukoro said Bamfuchile is still recuperating but the process has been slow. He said it was in the interest of the NFA for him to recover fully before he assumes full coaching responsibilities.
“We look at Bamfuchile as an asset that we at this stage cannot afford to lose, and we therefore took the decision to withdraw him from all coaching responsibilities and all the pressures that go with the job.”
Rukoro said Bamfuchile was under the doctor’s instructions to rest and thus urged the media and the general public to limit calls to the coach. He noted that he was convinced that if everybody could help with his recovery he could be ready for the match against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on September 8.
Meanwhile, reports from Botswana says that Botswana have named a late change in the goalkeeping department for the weekend’s Cosafa Castle Cup Group C tournament in Gaborone. Barolong Lemenyane has been replaced by the 22-year-old Noah Maposa, who plays at Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Botswana host Namibia in the second semifinal at the National stadium in Gaborone on Saturday.
Three-times Cosafa champions Angola play Lesotho in the first of the semi-final matches on Saturday, while Namibia plays hosts later that afternoon.
The winners of the two matches play in a mini-final on Sunday afternoon where the ultimate winner progresses to the final four, while defending champions Zambia and Mozambique and South Africa have already qualified.
The team: Athiel Mbaha, Efraim Tjihonge, Gottlieb Nakuta, Maleagi Ngarizemo, Franklin April, Jeremia Baisako, Jamunovandu Ngatjizeko, Brian Brendell, Patrick Jagger, Rudolf Bester, Gerson Katjatenja, Muna Katupose, Chris Katjihukua, Robert Nauseb, Hartmann Toromba, Letu Shatimuene, Meraai Swartbooi and Oliver Risser Short-listed: Tara Katupose and Eddy Simenda Technical Team: Titus Kunamuene (Head of Delegation), Ronnie Kanalelo (Coach), Brian Isaacs (Coach), Tim Isaacs (Team Manager), Gerson Kandjii (Team Doctor).