WINDHOEK – With just a few hours left before the big match between Namibia and Ghana gets underway at the Baba Yara Stadium in the west African country, Namibia’s Brave Warriors are said to have already unleashed their war chest and are beating the war drums in anticipation of a fierce battle against the highly-rated African giants.
Judging by Namibia’s pedestrian performance in various continental competitions for the past two years or so, coach Ricardo Mannetti and his charges know very well that today’s international friendly against Ghana presents an opportunity to prove to the nation that they are determined to commence the new year in style, with nothing but fruitful results in the making.
Realistically speaking, Namibia’s chances of beating Ghana today appear to be very thin but Mannetti boasts a squad of highly determined youngsters and experienced players that have the potential to give the Ghanaians a good run for their money.
Despite a victory being a bit unforeseeable, in the talent and potential of players like Virgil Vries, Max Mbaeva, Chris Katjiukua, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Deon Hotto, Benson Shilongo, Henrico Botes and youngsters such as Charles Hambira, Gregory Auchumeb, Peter Shalulile, Robert Nganjone, Joslin Kamatuka and Wangu Gome, Namibia packs enough ammunition in its arsenal to scrape a draw – or even force a win on Ghanaian turf – all depending on the system and methods Mannetti applies today.
Notable senior players missing from the Ghana entourage are Rudolf Bester, Da Costa Angula and Hendrik Somaeb of South African premiership club Free State Stars, while Jerome Louis of Township Rollers in Botswana and Freedom Puriza and Heini Isaacs who both recently returned to Namibia from South African clubs are also absentees.
Mannetti had also earlier indicated that Thailand-based Lazarus Kaimbi was in the initial squad but had to withdraw due to personal issues, with former Amazulu marksman and now Civics striker Sadney Urikhob getting the nod to replace Kaimbi.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Virgil Vries, Max Mbaeva.
Defenders: Denzil Haoseb, Chris Katjiukua, Willem Mwedihanga, Ananias Gebhardt, Denis Tjetinda, Charles Hambira.
Midfielders: Gregory Auchumeb, Peter Shalulile, Robert Nganjone, Joslin Kamatuka, Wangu Gome, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Deon Hotto.
Strikers: Sadney Urikhob, Benson Shilongo, Henrico Botes, Nicky Musambani.