Windhoek — Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti yesterday announced a 27-member squad that will face Swaziland in a friendly match in Manzini, Swaziland, a clash that will form part of that country's 50th independence celebrations.
The Namibian squad, which is a mixture of old-time campaigners and some of the country's most promising uncapped young players, will take on Sihlangu Semnikati (The King's Shield) of Swaziland on Thursday, April 19, in a vital clash that will form part of Swaziland's golden jubilee.
During a press conference yesterday at Football House in Katutura, Mannetti, who took the opportunity to congratulate newly-crowned MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) champions African Stars who were crowned champions over the weekend, said the 27-member squad will be trimmed down to 20 players that will travel to Swaziland tomorrow morning.
On the inclusion of young players in the squad, the 2015 Cosafa Cup-winning gaffer said it was imperative to accord various promising young players an opportunity to gain exposure while representing the country at the highest level.
With most local clubs currently preparing for the Debmarine Cup this coming weekend, Mannetti said clubs were a bit reluctant to release their players in fear of hampering their Debmarine preparations and thus he had to mould a mixed squad that has the required pedigree to compete.
"Black Africa players will not be considered in the squad, as the club wrote us a letter last week asking us not to use their players - the club will use its players to prepare for the Debmarine Cup this coming weekend. Taking the Debmarine Cup into account, I kept certain clubs' numbers lower and the clubs that will not participate in the Debmarine Cup have more players in this squad. Tigers, for instance, will have seven players in the squad while Young African have four players called up," explained Mannetti.
He added that it is an experimental squad but they still have a job to do against Swaziland. "We knocked Swaziland out of the Cosafa Cup last year and they won't take it lightly on us."
The 27-memebr squad is as follows: Ratanda Mbazuvara (African Stars), Immanuel Immanue (Tigers), Edward Maova (Civics), Ferdinand Karongee, Kennedy Amutenya, Rehabeam Mbango (all Tigers), Tjinotjiua Tjiuana Tja (African Stars), Donovan Kanjaa (Young African), Kennedy Eib (Mighty Gunners), Kleophas Useb (Life Fighters), Riaan Hanamub (Orlando Pirates), Charles Hambira, Petrus Shitembi (both Tura Magic), Ronald Ketjijere (African Stars), Gustav Isaak (Tigers), Himeezembi Hengombe, Elvis Patire, Ikuatera Hoveka (all Young African), Marcel Papama (Unam), Absalom Iimbondi, Mapenzi Muwanei (both Tigers), Willem Pinehas, Josef Nghifindwako (both Eleven Arrows), Vernon Klaazen (Mighty Gunners), Panduleni Nekundi (African Stars), Marius Hashipala (Blue Waters), Itamunua Keimuine(Tura Magic).