The Namibian (Windhoek)

27 February 2013

Namibia: Carmel Don, Lena Noreses Off to Germany

YOUNG Gladiators starlets Lena Noreses and Carmel Don jetted off to Germany yesterday for an eight-month internship in physiotherapy at Westfalia-Wilhelmsfeld.

The two national under-20 and Women Super League club JS Academy teammates will also get a chance to advance their football skills at the Westphalia club.

National team coach Jacqui Shipanga could barely conceal her joy at the move.

"This is a great move for the girls and this milestone can be attributed to the excellent relationship of the NFA and the German-Westphalia region, which now sees five girls from Namibia plying their trade in Germany. Vewe Kotjipati, Mammie Kasaona and Stacey Naris are all in Germany and showing great promise," Shipanga was quoted as saying on the NFA's website.

Shipanga believes that getting more players abroad would be to the benefit of the senior women's national side, particularly as the Brave Gladiators aim for a good showing in their maiden Africa Women Championship on home soil next year.

"Having five girls receiving the top-level training on a daily basis will not only benefit them personally but it will strengthen the Brave Gladiators Team in preparation of the 2014 Africa Women Championship. The president of the association, John Muinjo, has an obvious soft spot for the development of the women's game and all these opportunities are no surprise to the Women's Desk, as we prepare to announce a group of 35 players that will spearhead the preparation of the 2014 AWC," she said.

Noreses and Don came through the Unicef-funded Galz and Goals programme which combines football with education and life skills.

"In their 2012 grade 12 examination, Carmel obtained 42 points from Windhoek Gymnasium School whilst Lena Noreses from Jan Möhr High School scored 36.

That's exactly what we wanted to prove to everyone; that it is possible to balance sport and education and excel in both fields," said Shipanga.

According to the players' parents, Walter Don and Eveline Noreses, the gap year in Germany will benefit the girls tremendously, not only by learning a new language and culture, but also preparing them to make adequate choices as they will both be expected to further their studies next year. The players need to use their time in the German league to help cement their places in Shipanga's final squad for the CAF Women Championship.

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