All the trauma of the last couple of days, ranging from financial constraints that led to the delay in payment of staff and Brave Gladiators playing personnel, to a prominent Brave Warriors member playing truant, have been temporarily put on hold.
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) is burning the midnight oil to get its house in order and have lined up two mouth-watering preparatory clashes for the Brave Warriors ahead of their opening match in the Cosafa Cup against Botswana on June 18.
The rusty Warriors welcome Malawi on June 8 before visiting Zambia four days later for another warm-up clash.
And while the focal point is now on their 2017 CAF Afcon qualifier against Niger tomorrow at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, at 16h00, defiant Warriors head coach Bucksy Mannetti remains confident of the team’s chances in successfully defending the crown.
“I said it before – momentum is key going into the Cosafa Cup and by playing Niger before we engage Malawi and Zambia can only augur well for our match fitness and to be ready going into the Botswana match,” said a confident Mannetti.
He believes a good result against Botswana is of paramount importance. “We need to take all the necessary steps starting with Niger, a match we must win at all costs while we must also fashion results in the two warm-ups to give us an indication about our strength and readiness.”
Occupying bottom spot in Group K with a paltry three points, the Warriors are mathematically out of the running for a place in the finals of the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
Namibia host Niger on Saturday at 16h00 and match tickets are going for N$40 at all Computicket outlets.
Namibia must win and pray other results go their way in the hope Burundi loses against runaway group leaders Senegal, to allow the Namibians to finish in a respectable 2nd spot before their final group match against the Lions of Teranga in September this year.
The coach will trim his final squad from the 25 players currently in camp this morning before he announces his final squad for the Cosafa Cup.
Players in the training camp are: David Peterson (Tigers), Slimkat Mbaeva (Golden Arrows SA), Da Costa Angula (Free State Stars SA), Chris Katjiukua (Golden Arrows SA), Denzil Hoaseb (BA), Tebs Lombard (T-Magic), Romario Ndjavera, Mashaba Karongee (both Tigers), Edmund Kambanda (UNAM), Riaan Hanamub (O Pirates), Oswaldo Xamseb (T-Magic), Deon Hotto Kavendjii (Golden Arrows SA), Dynamo Fredericks (BA), Ballack Somaeb (Free State Stars SA), Awillo Stephanus (BA), Absalom Iimbondi (Tigers), Immanuel Heita (BA), Terry Uiseb (O Pirates), Roger Katjiteo (BA), Larry Horaeb (T-Magic), Pikes Shalulile (Highlands Park SA), Junior Gebhardt (BA), Patience Gaseb (M-Gunners), Wangu Gome (Bidvest Wits University SA) and Styles Shilongo (Gaborone United – Botswana).