Windhoek-President Hage Geingob has tasked Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti and his charges to make extra sure the trophy of this year’s edition of the popular Dr Hage Geingob Cup remains on home turf when they face the well-packaged Warriors of Zimbabwe tomorrow at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 16h00.
With South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns having kept the previous trophy after winning the competition for three consecutive years, the competition’s organisers recently unveiled a new and beautifully revamped trophy for this year’s edition.
According to a Namibia Football Association (NFA) press statement released yesterday, the Namibian head of state, who is also the patron of Namibian football and a huge sports fanatic, called on the Brave Warriors to proudly don
their national jerseys and play their socks off in order make sure the new trophy remains at home.
“We have had the other trophy and Sundowns have taken it for good. This year, the competition has been elevated to senior level football and I thus call upon the Brave Warriors to do their best against Zimbabwe and make sure we keep the new trophy at home. Even more significantly, we are playing at the Sam Nujoma Stadium,” emphasized Geingob.
The Dr Hage Geingob Cup is staged annually to honour and recognise the indefatigable efforts of Geingob towards the upliftment and empowerment of Namibians through economic and social exertions, particularly the youth through football, rugby and other codes.
This year’s tournament marks the fourth edition of the ever-growing competition and will see the 2018 CHAN tournament-bound Brave Warriors facing the wounded Warriors of Zimbabwe, who lost 1-0 against the Crocodiles of Lesotho during an international friendly on Wednesday at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru. With one eye firmly fixed on wrapping up preparations for their first ever CHAN participation early next year, coach Mannetti had earlier in the build-up to this weekend’s match promised to take it one game at a time, saying he will treat tomorrow’s clash with the respect and caution it deserves as nothing will be taken lightly.
On paper, Zimbabwe look strong, as their squad is mostly bolstered with an avalanche of young foreign-based players, but reading into Wednesday’s narrow defeat to Lesotho, it appears Zimbabwe’s foreign legion is still struggling to adapt to the style and flare of southern African football, as most of their youngsters were raised and groomed in Europe.
But Mannetti is a man less worried about what Zimbabwe has in its backpack, assuring that his brigades are well prepared and ready to counter any threats the visitors might pose on match day.
The 2015 Cosafa Cup winning gaffer has called up a well-balanced squad for tomorrow’s clash, with some highly talented youngsters such as Christain Jakobus Doeseb, Junias Theophilus and Tjiuana-Tja Tjinotjiua, among others, making their way into the national team.
Veteran campaigners such as Peter Shalulile, Petrus Shitembi, Wangu Gome, Larry Horaeb, Hendrick Somaeb and inspirational skipper Stigga Ketjijere are all on Mannetti’s radar to add a bit of depth.
Ahead of tomorrow’s match, a moment of silence will be observed in memory of Brave Warriors number one supporter, the late Robbie Savage, and national team players will also present President Geingob with a specially autographed Brave Warriors jersey bearing a photo of the late Savage.
Tickets will sell for N$20 00 each at Web-tickets at all Pick n Pay stores countrywide and at Football House in Katutura at the same price, while a limited number of tickets will be sold at the gate for N$40. Top local musicians such as PDK, One Blood, Kalux, Twazis and Adora will entertain the crowd before and after the match.