Baby Warriors ready for Zambia

By Michael Uugwanga

THE country’s men U-20 soccer team, the Baby Warriors will open their Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) U-20 tournament in Port Elizabeth, South Africa tomorrow.

The Baby Warriors have been in camp in PE for over two weeks under the guidance of experienced and energetic mentor James Britz, former coach of Namibia Premier League (NPL) outfit Tura Magic.

Britz and his 27-men squad are waiting to take on their biggest foe, Zambia regarded as a regional powerhouse.

Namibia will also have a date with Malawi next Monday before they take on Comoros on December 9 in their final group B match.

The Cosafa U-20 championship which starts today will end on December 13, with the top two teams qualifying to next year’s U-20 AFCON tournament.

In an interview with Confidente Sports, Britz said that his team’s target is to qualify to AFCON, although he is very aware of the tough encounters that await his team.

The current crop of players in the team has not played football for nearly three years due to sponsorship and infighting within the football circuit.

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“Look first of all we are going to try and press hard against Zambia so that we win the ball. We will have to make sure that we do not allow the Zambian team to play their football because they are one of the best teams in the region. We are going to play to our strength and that is to press them.

The fitness level in the beginning was not up to standard but now it has improved.

These boys have not played football for over two years as most of them play second divisions.

“As a coach the objective is always to have targets and one of our targets is to qualify to AFCON. Our short term target is to try and get a good result against Zambia and see what happens in the next match,” said Britz.

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Britz will try to replicate the success achieved by Brave Warriors in 2015 when under coach Ricardo Mannetti, they won the Cosafa Cup. The country’s U-17 men team also won the Cosafa U-17 tournament in 2016 under the leadership of Timo Tjongarero.

Below is the Namibian squad:

Jovane Narib, Promise Gurirab, Tyrin George, Tuhafeni David, Aidyn Eiseb, Pitsi Ameb, Ruhaka Ngatangue, Immanuel Hamunyela, Giovani Kaninab, Romin Berndt, Romeo Amon,Ngazikue Kandetu, Xavier McClune,Steven Damaseb, Filipo Micheleti, Edmar Kamatuka, BaggioNashixwa, Prins Tjiueza, Tylor Kaviua, Ro-Giano Goagoseb, DenzelNarib, Raymonzo Stern, TjipenandjambiKaruuombe, Garere Damaseb, Penouua Kandjii and Juninho Jantse.