Namibia: Positive Strides for Warriors Abroad

Brave Warriors midfielder Wangu Batista Gome is gamely navigating the trying football times in Armenia's top flight.

Along with Germany-based Manfred Starke, they are the only Brave Warriors players playing active football at the moment while the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

Starke (29) plays for Kaisersluatern in the German third tier, where active football recently resumed.

Gome (27) is looking to make the most of his one-year deal with Armenian Premier League side Alashkert whom he joined about four months ago.

The talented midfield general says it has been tough adjusting to a foreign country during the pandemic, but they are soldiering on.

The Football Federation of Armenia instructed the premier and first-league clubs to resume training from April 23.

The leagues could possibly restart this month, depending on the end of the state of emergency in Armenia and a number of other circumstances.

"We stopped training for a while and we've also had salary cuts during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. After resuming training, the team was divided into two groups to adhere to the social distancing regulations set by the Armenian government," Gome says.

The former Bidvest Wits man said all clubs subject their players, coaching and medical staff to daily testing.

Each training session can be attended by no more than 20 people at a time, including players, coaches, staff and medical staff.

Social distancing on the bench and that playing with no spectators in the stadium is not fun, he lamented.

His compatriot, Ananias Junior Gebhardt, extended his association with South African Premiership club Baroka FC on Monday.

The club renewed the Brave Warriors defender for another year, with his current deal expiring at the end of this month.

The 31-year-old Gebhardt said he was excited to be staying for another season.

"I have been here for two years, the team had an option to extend for another season, so they exercised it and I'm grateful to the entire team management for affording me another year with them," says Gebhardt.

Regarding the pandemic, Gebhardt says it has been a frustrating period, but the most important thing is people's safety.

"Even though we are urging to be back on the pitch, safety comes first and football second. We have been training from home. We do Zoom sessions with the fitness coach and we do individual runs, 5 kilometres three times a week, and the team provided us with tracking devices," he said. - Adapted from nfa.org.na

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