The Namibian Baby Warriors’ astonishing historical triumph at the 2016 Cosafa Under-17 Championships in Mauritius on Sunday has been attributed in part to Skorpion Zinc’s generous financial support.
However, more resources are needed to ensure the gradual improvement of the boys into the senior setup after the gutsy Namibians defeated old foes South Africa 3-1 in the dreaded penalty shootout. The teams were deadlocked at 1-all after the regulation time of 90 minutes.
The victory, a first of its kind at junior level in the annals of domestic football, replicates the seniors’ victory at the senior regional tourney, in South Africa last year.
Namibia Football Association president Frans Mbidi could not heap enough praise on the investment made in developing youth football by government and other partners, notably Skorpion Zinc.
“When Skorpion Zinc came on board about four years ago with the maiden edition in Keetmanshoop before coming to Windhoek and Tsumeb, respectively, in the following years, the idea was to always make sure we identify players that could make us proud,” Mbidi enthused.
He adds that Namibia is blessed with highly gifted young footballers, who only need the ideal platforms to display and develop their talents, and that is what this partnership was all about.
“About 90 percent of these boys were scouted in Tsumeb last year and we managed to keep them together and here they are. It’s something that can only be replicated and improved upon, so these boys have certainly laid the foundation and can go on and become better and better”, Mbidi said.