Shooting from the hip – Can Warriors Lay Ghosts to Rest?

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Am I perhaps the only one who is worried to death about the Brave Warriors’ lukewarm showing in recent outings, notwithstanding the irritating lame excuses advanced whenever we find ourselves at the short end of the stick?.

Some football diehards would always seek to justify the team’s poor form with attributes such as the low goal margin and the fact that the boys held out for a goalless first half which has become customary practice nowadays.

It’s common knowledge that the Warriors are poor travellers despite odd wins against Malawi in a meaningless friendly and of course the historic victory over Ethiopia in the last qualifying match for the African Cup of Nations finals – a result that paved the way for Namibia’s presence at the 26th edition of the continental showpiece.

With 9 solid days left before the curtain opens for Africa’s most cherished sporting event, the Warriors are yet to convince any realistic thinking football follower that they have what it takes to compete at the highest level – if results in recent warm-up matches can be used as a yardstick.

It’s quite amazing as to why Namibia has not finalized its final squad for Ghana with barely a week left before the team starts her assault in the three-week tournament.

Word from within the corridors of Soccer House has it that the beleaguered Association is deliberately holding back in order to sow confusion amongst the playing staff – a well calculated move aimed at victimizing players who dare have the guts to include the word “money” in their vocabulary while under the supervision of the NFA.

In any professional setup, one would have expected football authorities to have already sorted out details pertaining to appearance fees, match bonuses, insurance cover and daily allowances for the players, but all the aforementioned are being kept under wraps for reasons only known to the NFA.

Can somebody please tell me why the NFA has up to this day not opened negotiations with the players on remunerations?

Yours truly has it on good authority that the cash-stripped Association is now also trying to cash in on the hefty amount that was advanced by MTC towards the Brave Warriors’ participation in Ghana.

It’s rumoured the players are to receive far less money than what the ‘Class of 1998″ took home nine years ago for 270 minutes of chasing a pigskin in Burkina Faso, where the relatively inexperienced Namibian amateurs surprised friend and foe with their silky brand of football that won them many admirers on the continent and further abroad.

Well, it might be argued that the Warriors failed to win a single match, but that team certainly left a lasting impression on those who converged in the tiny West African country as our boys dished out some exciting attacking football with goals in abundance.

As opposed to the Class of 1998, the current crop lacks personalities and match winners in the mould of Congo Hindjou, Lolo Goraseb, Bucksy Manneti, Slice Ouseb, Ronnie Kanalelo, Eliphas Shivute and Gerros Uri-khob to mention but just a few while Sandro de Gouveia’s quality of leadership is yet to be matched by any standards.

In all honesty, apart from Michael ”Dolam Tower” Pienaar , Namibia does not have those special footballers who possess the ability to win matches on their own and bring their team mates to the required competitive level when the going gets tough and this is where I suspect we are going to falter when confronting giants like hosts Ghana, Guinea and Morocco.

Personally, yours truly does not fully agree with the NFA to engage the Warriors in so many tough warm-up matches away from home and would rather have preferred to play against countries such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi or Botswana at home.

Victory over these nations on home ground would have given us some hope and lifted the spirit of the players in the run-up to the finals.

Tackle the Real McCoy and Stop Passing the Buck

Did I hear somebody crying foul over the permanent inability of Netball Namibia to engage internationally?

The “Iron Lady” of the ladies discipline one Carol Garoes is apparently pissed off with sponsors for turning their backs on netball because it is a women’s game – what a lot of crap!

If a country like Malawi with extremely limited resources can become number five in global netball and continental champions – then yours truly surely has a duty to remind the learned Madam to wake up and smell the Java or rather where to get off exactly.

Charity begins at home, the problem in Namibian Netball is not about international participation – it’s primarily about insufficient structures on the domestic level and until such time the real McCoy is tackled, this once flourishing discipline will remain a whale of an A La Carte for the country’s horde of stray dogs.

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