The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Bester Out, Isaacks Doubtful for Warriors

TOUCH AND GO ... Heini Isaacks is a doubtful starter for the Brave Warriors' match against Morocco on Saturday.

RUDOLPH Bester has been ruled out of the Brave Warriors' upcoming friendly matches against Morocco and Zambia through injury, while midfielder Heini Isaacks is also a doubtful for the encounters.

Bester has been ruled out for at least two weeks due to an ankle injury during training on Thursday and has already left for Johannesburg, where he will receive further treatment from Orlando Pirates' medical staff.

Isaacks injured his groin during training and sat out yesterday's morning session. His availability is still be confirmed, according Brave Warriors coach Bernard Kaanjuka.

"Rudolf Bester has an ankle injury and he will be out for two weeks - he's already back in Johannesburg. Heini Isaacks is struggling with a groin injury but our doctor is busy with him and we are waiting for his report before we make a decision on him," he said.

The Brave Warriors started training for the two friendlies last Thursday, taking a break on Sunday, before returning to training yesterday. Kaanjuka said he was pleasantly surprised by their fitness levels, following the festive season break.

"I'm really surprised by the discipline of the players. They came back in good shape, we expected worse but they really surprised us all and they are all fit, except for the injured players," he said.

Kaanjuka said he would not call up extra replacements and would make do with the squad at his disposal.

"The Namibian Premier League will only start on the 19th of January, so it will be very difficult now to call up new players. Our local players were all on the festive season break so I don't know in what shape they are. The players in the national squad were all on a special programme during the festive season but I don't know about the rest so it will be very difficult to call up new players now," he said.

Kaanjuka said that the team lacked quality strikers, but sounded doubtful whether he would call up Wilko Risser who recently joined South African Premier league club Chippa United.

"Wilko Risser just recently joined Chippa United and their league will only start in mid-February, so he's still just in training. If you look at our local league you will see that our top striker has only scored five goals from 10 matches which is just not good enough.

"We don't have strikers that can score 22 goals per season, we just don't have those strikers. We don't have the Ronaldos or the Messis and if you look at the Namibian club teams, most of their strikers are foreigners, so we don't really have strikers in the country.

"So that should be our next project, to build up some new strikers while they are young," he said.

Regarding Morocco, Kaanjuka said he expected a tough and physical match.

"Our first match will be against Morocco in Johannesburg on Saturday at eight in the evening. The North African teams are very fast and physical and that's really what we need because I have to test my team against these fast players, so it will be a good test for us," he said.

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