Windhoek — With the Namibia Premier League (NPL) officially kicking off today, Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti says the commencement of the league couldn't have come at a better time, as he plans to extensively tap into new players with the aim of bolstering the national team ahead of 2018 CHAN.
The Brave Warriors are in full swing preparing for next year's African Nations Championships (CHAN), to be staged in Morocco.
Welcoming the launch of the 2017/18 NPL season on Wednesday, Mannetti said he was glad the country's elite football league is finally back, as it serves as the primary supplier of players to the national team.
"I'm happy to know that the league is launched and more so the players are happy because it is about them. It is their daily bread and of course for all Namibians that have been thirsty for league action," Mannetti states.
He adds that the league will ensure that the current crop of players do not get complacent as they will be pushed for places in the national team.
"We have players that we have been working with for the past year or so and helped the team qualify for CHAN, but now the league will ensure that they don't get too comfortable and rest on their laurels, as they will now know they can be replaced. They need to perform and those that are doing well in the league can be roped in at any time," said Mannetti.
The Brave Warriors will continue with their weekly training sessions, Mannetti says, with additional players to be brought in.
"We will reduce the number of sessions and I plead with the coaches that we are not here to disrupt their plans but just to keep going as we have done for the past four months. We will get players in from the league - remember CHAN is for local players and if we see they fit into our tactics and plans, we will rope them in."
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will host the draw for 2018 CHAN on Friday, November 17, in Rabat, Morocco. The 16 nations that have qualified for the tournament will be zoned into four groups of four teams.