Afcon squad finalised

Vries not among the 23 players

11 June 2019 | Sports

Former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries, as well as defenders Teberius Lombard, Chris Katjiukua, Benjamin Nengavu and Wesley Katjiteo, are not among the 23-man Brave Warriors squad that will represent Namibia at the Afcon finals in Egypt.

Coach Ricardo Mannetti explained that tactics, conditioning, performance and attitude during the last two weeks were the things he looked at before selecting this final squad.

“Those are pillars of our decision. Also the inclusion of England-based Ryan Nyambe at the back; his versatility is key for the changes at the back,” said Mannetti.

He also emphasised that he had selected the best possible team for the competition.

“We feel that this team has the right energy, players and tactics and will represent Namibia to the best of their abilities. These are the right players with the right work ethic and harmony,” Mannetti added.

The Brave Warriors played a closed-door friendly on Sunday against Ghana, beating the Black Stars 1-0 at the Jebel Ali Sports Centre of Excellence in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The only goal of the match was scored by German-based attacking midfielder Manfred Starke.

Some fans on social media like Simon Simon Jr said dropping players like Vries and Lombard is an insult, as they fought tooth and nail during the Afcon qualifiers.

“The boys played their lungs out to make sure the team qualified and they end up being dropped. I'm hurt on their behalf,” he said.

Cesc Jali said Katjiukua has an important role in the team. “I hope by omitting him the coach really has a better plan.”

Another fan, Elia Shikudule, said Mannetti had tough decisions to make because of the very strong squad.

Lombard took to social media to congratulate the chosen players, saying that greater things lie ahead.

“I walk away with a smile because I'm proud that we qualified for Afcon. It's a pity but life goes on,” he said.

The squad is as follows: Ratanda Mbazuvara, Loydt Kazapua, Max Mbaeva, Ryan Nyambe, Larry Horaeb, Denzil Haoseb, Ivan Kamberipa, Charles Hambira, Riaan Hanamub, Ananias Gebhardt, Absalom Iimbondi, Willy Stephanus, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Dynamo Fredericks, Marcel Papama, Manfred Starke, Deon Hotto, Itamunua Keimuine, Benson Shilongo, Peter Shalulile, Joslin Kamatuka and Isaskar Gurirab.

LIMBA MUPETAMI