Windhoek-Bidvest Wits University’s underutilised midfielder, Wangu Batista-Gome, this week joined the Brave Warriors training camp at the NFA Technical Centre in Windhoek. Despite limited action at the PSL club, his arrival was hailed here as a massive boost for the team’s preparations ahead of the June 2019 AFCON Qualifiers and the COSAFA Cup.
The diminutive midfielder has been frozen out at Wits by coach Gavin Hunt as the club seeks to claim their first ABSA Premiership title. Gome has made cameo appearances for the Milpark outfit since joining the students from Civics in 2015, following his impressive display in Namibia’s triumph in the COSAFA Cup.
Warriors mentor Bucksy Mannetti, who has previously vowed not to select players who are not playing regularly for their respective clubs, has gone back on his word and expressed satisfaction with Gome’s physical condition, despite the player’s lack of game time in South Africa.
“Wangu is one of the senior members in the team and his presence surely makes a huge difference. It’s unfortunate that he has not played for a long time, that’s why I asked Huntie (Gavin Hunt) to release him early so that he could join the team and gel with the other players.”
The former Santos holding midfielder admitted that his team find themselves in an unnatural situation where many of the players have not professionally kicked a football for some time, although he has tried by all means to work around that to get the best out of the boys.
The training squad will be trimmed down, with Mannetti expected to announce the final squad in preparation for the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Guinea Bissau next month before the Warriors head to South Africa for the annual COSAFA Cup starting on the 25th of next month.
The local players will go toe to toe against Zimbabwe for the Africa Nations Champions qualifiers in July.
The following players are currently in the Warriors training camp: Lodyt Kazapua (A Stars) David Peterson (Tigers) Charles Uirab (O Pirates) Edward Maova (Civics), Romario Ndjavera, Ferdinand Karongee (both Tigers) Tebs Lombard, Charles Hambira (both T Magic) Larry Horaeb (BA) Riaan !Hanamub (O Pirates), Edmund Kambanda (UNAM) Stigga Ketjijere, Katiti Hakuria (both A Stars) Benyamin Nenkavu (Tigers) Oswaldo Xamseb (T Magic) Dynamo Fredericks (B A) Pandeni Kandjabanga (G Bigs) Ita Keimuine (T Magic) Mapenzi Muwanei (Tigers) Muna Katupose and Immanuel Heita (both BA) and Sakaria Jonas (Tigers).