KEETMANSHOOP – The //Karas regional U/20 football is well prepared and has vowed to go all the way and hopefully win this year’s 15th edition of the annual Namibian Newspaper Cup.
Speaking to New Era at a handing over ceremony this week, the team’s mentor Collen Gusha was optimistic about their chances of lifting the coveted trophy. The tournament will get underway on Friday until Monday at the Outjo Sport Stadium.
At the handover the team received various equipment including balls, whistles, pumps and training kits worth N$20 000 from Namibian Homes, while the team also received N$10 000 from the same company.
Gusha said preparations went smoothly and the team comprises of very good players compared to past years and thus nothing will stop the team from emerging as this year’s victors. He however acknowledged that it will be a tough job and singled out Oshana and Khomas as the two regions that will give stiff competition in the tournament.
Namibian Homes representative Tom Fitzgerald urged the players to never give up in sports no matter who the opponents are and called for them to work as a team. “Sports is about team work, be proud of the jersey you put on,” urged Fitzgerald.
Deputy Mayor of Keetmanshoop Gabriel Freyer gave words of encouragement to the team and called on elder community members to get involved in the lives of the youth in order to impact their lives positively, adding that the lack of this is what was causing an increase in alcohol and drug abuse.
Freyer thanked Namibian Homes for the sponsorship and reminded people at the ceremony that such good gestures have made it possible for the project to produce good players like Maritzburg United FC and Brave Warriors goalkeeper Virgil Vries over the years.
Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency Councillor Jims Christian who will be temporarily leaving his political office to travel with the team also thanked the sponsor and pleaded with the players to do their best to win.
Last year’s losing finalist Oshana are in Group A, together with Omaheke, Ohangwena and Hardap regions, while Group B is made up of //Karas, Oshikoto, Erongo and record winners Khomas.
The host region, Kunene are in Group C with Omusati and Otjozondjupa, while Group D consists of Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi. The teams will compete in two groups of four teams and two groups of three teams, with the winner of each group qualifying for the semifinals.