Taking the game to the people – Samaria
National coach Bobby Samaria said taking his squad north will give them much-needed game time and bring them closer to the fans, amidst talk that playing ordinary teams will not boost the players' performance.
28 February 2020 | Sports
This he said after fans took to social media, questioning why the national team, with a high calibre and pedigree, is competing against unknown players in the north in their preparations for the 2020 African National Championship (Chan) final, set to be held in Cameroon.
Samaria explained that there is a host of fans in the north, eager to watch the team play and to see their star players. He also said that last year fans echoed the same sentiments when they announced that they will play friendlies at Mariental against team //Karas and Hardap in preparation for the Chan qualifier clash against Madagascar.
“We ended up beating Madagascar, as the friendlies helped the players gain form even though the competition wasn't that stern. Also, we are taking the team up north as it's a great opportunity to unearth talent.
He further said the presence of winger Willy Stephanus and defender Denzil Haoseb is so they can prepare themselves for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Mali.
“It's a national team and they can train with the squad whenever they need to, especially now that Stephanus has left Lusaka Dynamos due to three months of unpaid wages.
“Haoseb is also in a similar position with his club, so both players are back home and are with the training squad,” he said.
Samaria added that Isaskar Gurirab has signed a pre-season contract with ABC Motsepe team Pele Pele, whose parent club is Orlando Pirates, which means he will only start playing in the upcoming season.
“He will then be inactive up until that time, so what is the use? He had to come back and train with the squad,” he said.
The first friendly, against Oshakati Best 11, will start at 14:30, while the match against Northern Namibia Best 11 will kick off at 16:45.
Namibia is in Group D with Guinea, Zambia and Tanzania. The group will be based in the seaside city of Limbe in western Cameroon.
Namibia will play their first match against Guinea on 7 April at 20:00 at the Limbe Stadium while their second game will be against Tanzania on 11 April at the same venue.
They will not have to move base as they finish off the group with a clash against Zambia on 15 April, also at 20:00 at the Limbe Stadium.
The 32 players are:
Goalkeepers: Kamaiyanda Ndisiro, Ratanda Mbazuvara, Jonas Matheus, Charles Uirab and Immanuel Immanuel.
Defenders: Vitapi Ngaruka, Emilio Martin, Ivan Kamberipa, Pat-Nevin Uanivi, Rehabeam Mbango, Aprocius Petrus, Gregory Auchumeb, Larry Haraeb, Denzil Haoseb, Johannes Mutunga and Erastus Ikeinge.
Midfielders: Dynamo Fredericks, Wendell Rudath, Obrey Amseb, Gustav lsaack, Llewellyn Stanley, Absalom limbondi, Immanuel Heita, Clephas Nuukushu, Marcel Papama and Brendon Neibeb.
Strikers: Elmo Kambindu, Panduleni Nekundi, Isaskar Gurirab, Mapenzi Muwanei, Salomom Omseb and Willy Stephanus.