Oshakati-The 2016 Namibian Newspaper Cup Champions, Oshana Region, are hard at work with preparations for this year’s edition of the prestigious youth football bonanza to be hosted in Katima Mulilo on March 30.
Oshana seeks to replicate their 2016 exploits by claiming victory at the 18th edition of the annual under-20 championships set for March 30 to April 2.
The northerners are looking forward to cup glory number three, but will have to overcome Hardap and Oshikoto in Group C in the first round stage. Goals from Andreas Keenjele and Immanuel Kalla helped Oshana defeat Khomas 2-0 and clinch the annual Namibian Newspaper Cup title in 2016 in Rundu. The region’s U/20 coach, Samuel Bongo Shaama, confirms that the region has finished with trials, with a provisional team list already in place, adding they will not undermine any region, but will rather work towards defeating them. “We had an encounter with Hardap Region during the 2017 Scorpion Zinc Cup, where we beat them 1-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. It was a tough game because they have great attack,” Shaama reminisces before adding that they have not yet faced their northern rival Oshikoto yet at youth level.
“Judging from our play last year, it was evident we lacked tactics, an area we intend to pay much attention to this year. We have to combine tactics and experience from the young boys who graduated from the U/17s with that of the seniors who already played in the Newspaper Cup last year, and try to go all the way in Katima Mulilo,” Shaama says. The regional team will play a friendly game against the Oshana 11, a Second Division team, on Saturday March 10 to test their readiness. – NFA org.com
Including the netball teams, the other groups are as follows:
Group A: Kunene, Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Kavango West
Group B: Zambezi, Erongo, Omaheke, Omusati
Group D: Ohangwena, Kavango East, //Kharas.