1 June 2018

Namibia: Dream Team Off to China

Namibia's under-23 national football team departs for a week-long tour of China on Friday, against whom they will play two friendly matches.

The matches, scheduled for 4 and 7 June, are part of preparations for Namibia's latest quest for continental and Olympic qualifications.

With the 2019 Africa u23 Cup of Nations qualifiers' draw imminent, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) accepted an invite from China to partake in preparatory games against the world's most populous country.

"The draw is still to be conducted, but we have to be ready for anything, hence the importance of this training camp in China. We are grateful for this invite, and the boys have been hard at work on the field, going through the drills so that they can leave a mark in China," said head coach Timo Tjongarero.

"It will be a learning tour as well, and surely the team will enjoy and play to find the right combinations and see what can work for us before the real business starts," he noted.

Tjongarero added that the boys, dubbed the Dream Team, want to make a mark in the 2020 qualifiers.

"In recent years, we won Cosafa at senior and under-17 level, and also reached the Chan finals quarter-finals. This crop of players want to add to those achievements by writing their own history, and at least qualify for the tournament in Egypt after the continental qualifiers," the gaffer said.

They recently defeated the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia side 1-0, thanks to a goal by Israel Shikongo.

Namibia's Olympic dream begins with negotiating their way past the continental hopefuls, with seven spots available for the eight-team Afcon tournament set for Egypt in November and December 2019. The top three teams in Egypt qualify automatically for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The fourth-placed finisher will contest a play-off against a team from the Asian Football Confederation.

The following 20 players will travel to China: Wisely Kauua, Baloyi Tsandib, Petrus Kamati, Aprocius Petrus, Paulus Abel, Uetuuru Kambato, Giovanni Nauseb, Pandeni Kandjabanga, Israel Shikongo, Hubert Mingeri, Romeo Kasume, Anthony Kham, Romario Hawiseb, Lubeni Haukongo, Calvin Spiegel, Rivaldo Festus, Kennedy //Eib, Brandon Neibeb, McCartney Naweseb and Hiha Katjivena. - nfa.org.na

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