Samaria patient with players

By Michael Uugwanga

AS the Brave Warriors enter their post Covid-19 training camp that started on Tuesday ahead of the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) Cup slated for next month, team coach Bobby Samaria has said that he will not put too much pressure on the players.

On Monday, Samaria announced a 35-man training squad that will be in camp till September 30 ahead of the Cosafa Cup set for the first week of October in Durban and an international friendly match against Bafana Bafana also in October in South Africa.

Former Brave Warriors winger Robert ‘Baggio’ Nauseb was announced as Samaria’s assistant.

“It is unrealistic for us to expect the team to go there and achieve wonders. The main aim of going to Cosafa is to put these players in a position for them to play football. The second point is to start preparing the team for CHAN because Cosafa is an eye for the CHAN tournament that will start in January as we will be trying to find new combinations for the players. We are not going to Cosafa to add up numbers,” said Samaria.

The Cosafa date is yet to be officially confirmed, although the dates set so far are 2 to 17 October while the match against Bafana Bafana which is slated for October 8 could also find a new date.

The friendly encounter between the two neighbouring countries will involve foreign-based players from both countries as both teams will be using the match as preparation for the African Nations Cup (Afcon) qualifiers.

The Afcon qualifier dates have also not been officially confirmed but the dates set so far by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are November 9 to 17.

Meanwhile, the team for Cosafa is the same side that will be representing Namibia at next year’s rescheduled African Nations Championship (CHAN) that was supposedly to have taken place in April in Cameroon before it was postponed to next January.

The Brave Warriors will be making their second successive appearance at the CHAN tournament, having made its first appearance at the 2018 edition and went on to reach the quarter finals before losing to hosts and eventual winners, Morocco.

The Brave Warriors last played a competitive match last year November when they lost 2-0 in an Afcon qualifier in Conakry, Guinea in their group A match.

Commenting on the case of Brave Warriors number one goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua who had been reported missing by his SA club, Samaria said the number one stopper had given his side of the story to why he had gone AWOL citing family matters.

Kazapua has established himself as Brave Warriors first choice goalie in the last two years and was at the 2018 CHAN tournament and at last year’s Afcon tournament. However he now faces competition from long-serving national team ‘keeper Virgil Vries who guided his Moroka Swallows side to the Absa Premiership.

Below is the 35-man squad:

Ratanda Mbazuvara, Ndisiro Kamaiyanda, Jonas Matheus Immanuel Immanuel, Vitapi Ngaruka, Martin Emilio, Ivan Kamberipa, Pat-Nevin Uanivi, Larry Horaeb, Gregory Aukumeb, Approcious Petrus, Rehabeam Mbango, Tjinotjiua Tjiuana-Tja, Erasmus Ikeinge, Johannes Mutunga,Denzil Haoseb, Kleopas Nuukushu, Dynamo Fredericks, Immanuel Heita, Ambrosuis Amseb, Wendell Rudath, Gustav Isaak, Alfeus Handura, Lewellyn Stanley, Absalom Iimbondi, Wesley Katjiteo, Marcel Papama, Brandon Neibeb, Will Stephanus, Elmo Kambindu, Issaskar Gurirab, Panduleni Nekundi, Mapenzi Muwanei, Monis Omseb and Hendrik Somaeb.