Brave Warriors veteran striker Henrico Botes has retired from international football, bringing to an end a blossoming career spanning 14 years.
Widely hailed as one of the best strikers to have ever graced the shores of Namibian football, the 35-year-old Bidvest Wits front man has made 20 appearances for Namibia, scoring four goals during a career that was mostly plugged by a string of injuries. The NFA have confirmed Botes’ departure.
Speaking from Johannesburg yesterday, Botes said he had finally decided to step down from the senior national team, adding that he took the decision after long consultations with Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti.
“I have been thinking about it for over a year now and it is only because of coach Mannetti that I kept pushing and of course for the love of my country. I’m now in the twilight of my career and I need to concentrate on my club career and focus all my energy on that. It is not an easy decision, but I feel it is now time to call it a day with the national team,” said Botes who missed the 2008 African Cup due to injury.
He added that it was time to give a chance to the younger guys.
“There are a lot of exciting young players coming through and they need their chance to have their moments with the national team as well. It is for all of us, and now I need to step aside.”
The former Platinum Stars, Moroka Swallows and Ramblers striker wishes the current crop of players all the best in representing Namibia. “It has been an incredible journey with these young boys and I wish them all the best. I’m still their biggest supporter. I am always available for advice on anything.”