Windhoek-Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti will be looking to make a serious impact at the 2018 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) finals in Morocco as he awaits the draw to be held on November 17 in Rabat, Morocco.
Namibia secured her first ever CHAN qualification after edging out Zimbabwe and the Comoros during a four-legged affair between the two nations in August – and heading into next year’s CHAN finals, Mannetti is hoping his charges will progress past the competition’s group stages.
“We want to win every game at CHAN. It will be unrealistic to predict what will happen without looking at the draw first. So the draw should first be conducted and then we will see who we face and how best should we prepare. The first objective is to get out of the group. I will be happy if we get out of the group, and take it from there,” Mannetti says.
He adds that the NFA is planning a three-week training camp for the Brave Warriors in north Africa, in similar conditions as in Morocco and he plans to have more preparatory games as well.
“I can confirm that we will have a three-week training camp outside Namibia. I’m worried about the pitches and so need similar ones to Morocco’s. We will have a couple of training matches against other nations as we round up our preparations for CHAN.”
Mannetti also called on players to fight for positions in the national team for the upcoming CHAN tournament and AFCON qualifiers slated for March next year.
“It’s all about healthy competition. For me all players are equal and if you are good enough you will play and this should encourage CHAN players to push for places in the Brave Warriors A team as well as for the AFCON qualifier against Zambia in March,” explains Mannetti.
The coach is also looking to have more depth in defence, saying: “The players that have trained for four months form the core of the team – they have the edge but we constantly look to widen the scope. The centre back position – I need more players in that area. I still have Tiberius Lombard, Charles Hambira and Ferdinand Karongee and that is not enough depth for me yet. So other players should also push and make their breakthrough into the national team.”
This Saturday, the Brave Warriors will face the Warriors of Zimbabwe in the Dr Hage Geingob Cup at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 16h00. Tickets sell for N$20 each at Web-tickets Namibia at all Pick n Pay stores countrywide, while a limited number of tickets will be sold at the gate for N$40.