21 April 2017

Namibia: Mannetti Scours Debmarine Cup for Warriors

BRAVE Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti will run the rule over prospective recruits for the senior national side during the Debmarine Namibia Cup's round of 32, which starts this weekend.

With the FA Cup the only active football competition in the country, Mannetti finds himself in a precarious situation as a busy period of international assignments looms.

The Namibia Premier League (NPL) is still struggling to tie down a deal with MTC and other investors ahead of the proposed 12 May kickoff, which could result in the premier division only starting well after the Brave Warriors have taken to the field.

The decision by a number of NPL teams to withdraw from the cup also means many of Mannetti's home-based regulars have still not played a competitive domestic match since May 2016.

The majority of the coach's preferred personnel come from FA Cup holders Tigers and Black Africa, who along with NPL returnees Chief Santos have snubbed the Debmarine Namibia Cup, and African Stars, who are also expected to bypass the NFA's flagship competition.

Orlando Pirates are the other top-flight club said to be uninterested in playing in the Debmarine Cup, unless there is a guarantee of NPL action in the near future.

"I am going to assess a few players who were part of the camp in a competitive environment. I'll also be on the lookout for new players whom I have not seen playing before," Mannetti told The Namibian Sport earlier this week.

The Brave Warriors' technical team has organised a month-long training camp for a select group of players as part of preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea-Bissau in early June, and the Cosafa Cup which starts on 25 June in South Africa.

In July, Namibia face Zimbabwe over two legs in African Nations Championship (Chan) qualification. That competition is exclusively for home-based players.

Namibia also face Zambia, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau in Group K Afcon 2019 qualifiers next year.

"I'll announce my final training squad after the round of 32 matches. We are getting to where we want to be in terms of the squad depth. But again, this can change depending on injuries, new players at the Debmarine Namibia Cup, and of course with the start of the premier league later in May.

"We have the foreign-based players to consider as well," Mannetti said.

Rhino FC will face Young Beauties at 14h00, with Unam FC and Eleven Champions doing battle two hours later at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday for places in the next round.

The Oscar Norich Stadium at Tsumeb will host Young Chiefs against Kantema Bullets at 13h00; Ogongo United against Eleven Arrows at 15h00; and Khuse FC versus Touch & Go at 17h00.

On Sunday, King Fischer and Tura Magic will square off at 12h00, followed by Civics against Ohangwena Nampol at 14h00.

Presently part of the 22-man training squad are Loydt Kazapua (African Stars) David Peterson (Tigers), Charles Uirab (Orlando Pirates), Edward Maova (Civics FC), Romario Ndjavera and Ferdinand Karongee (Tigers), Tiberius Lombard and Charles Hambira (both Tura Magic), Larry Horaeb (Black Africa), Riaan !Hanamub (Orlando Pirates), Edmund Kambanda (Unam FC).

Also in are Ronald Ketjijere and Katiti Hakuria (both African Stars), Benyamin Nenkavu (Tigers), Oswaldo Xamseb (Tura Magic), Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa), Pandeni Kandjabanga (Golden Bigs), Itamunua Keimuine (Tura Magic), Mapenzi Muwanei (Tigers), Muna Katupose and Immanuel Heita (Black Africa), as well as Sakaria Jonas (Tigers).

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