The Brave Warriors’ recalled shot-stopper Virgil Vries is at it again. According to a press release issued by the Namibian Football Association (NFA) yesterday, the former Eleven Arrows dreadlocked goalkeeper has apparently taken French leave . Vries reportedly disappeared without trace from the Warriors training camp last Friday and failed to show up for the Warriors’ team-building exercise in Gobabis last weekend.
His wayward behaviour has left coach Ricardo Mannetti with only one internationally recognized goalie ahead of Namibia’s 2017 Afcon qualifier against Niger at home on Saturday following the forced withdrawal of third choice net minder Edward Maova.
Mannetti revealed the Maritzburg United last line of defence Vries has gone AWOL and his whereabouts are not known, leaving Max “Slimkat” Mbaeva and Dawid Petersen as the only available goalkeepers.
“He (Virgil) joined the camp on Friday whereupon everyone was told we have an assignment on Saturday (Cosafa trophy tour at Gobabis) with all squad members obliged to be present.
“This was also communicated to him but the player just vanished and though we tried our best to locate him, our efforts were all in vain as he could not be reached to explain his whereabouts, neither has he contacted any member of the technical team or his team-mates,” fumed a disappointed Mannetti.
Mannetti added that he would make a decision on whether to replace Vries or keep him in the squad once he resurfaces.
Sources close to the Warriors revealed that Vries has a string of indiscipline issues with the technical staff, ranging from missing scheduled connection flights causing financial damage to the association, to having made it his sole beat to break the team’s curfew at the slightest provocation.
Meanwhile, Pikes Shalulile, who has become key to the Warriors striking department, has been declared available for selection when Namibia start their defence of the Cosafa Castle Cup against Botswana on June 18 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
“I’m pleased to confirm that Highlands Park has agreed to release Pikes for the game. We are very thankful for the club’s understanding, especially to coach Allen Freese. Pikes remains key to our team and if we can have him anytime we will welcome him with open arms because he is a player that gives 100 percent effort and is a source of inspiration as well,” charged Mannetti.
Free State Stars striker Ballack Somaeb remains in doubt for the Niger clash and will have to undergo a late fitness test.