Young Brave Gladiators, go all out and beat Botswana

By Michael Uugwanga

I would like to wish our Young Brave Gladiators all the best ahead of their clash against neighbouring Botswana in their first leg match of the 2020 FIFA Women U-20 Qualifiers to be played on home soil this Sunday.

Our players should take ownership of the shirts they will be wearing on Saturday and a win is all that will be required from them.

Botswana has over the years become a boogieman team for Namibia at all levels of football, be it male or female, with the country’s latest poor showing against Botswana in last year’s 2020 Olympic qualifiers with Namibia’s Brave Gladiators losing 3-2 over a two-leg tie.

The Brave Gladiators also lost 1-0 in a group match to Botswana at the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Championship last year.

Mamie Kasaona (interim coach of the Young Brave Gladiators) needs no reminder of the rivalry between Namibia and Botswana, as she was coach of the Brave Gladiators at the COSAFA Cup last year. Kasaona will need to instil belief in the players that they must forget about the history between the two nations and make their own history by beating Botswana.

Our players will need our support if they are to outperform the Bostwana team that is expected to have a big number of supporters at the stadium. The big problem that coach Kasaona faces is the fitness level of the players as it is well documented that the players have not been active for over seven months since the Skorpion Zinc NFA Super League ended in May last year, while at the same time the team did not play competitive friendly matches due to lack of financial support from the NFA.

My advice to Kasaona if she is to get the best out of the girls in the match is to play pressing football from the first whistle, since we all know the type of football Bostwana plays away and that is to sit back and catch opponents on the counter, something that Kasaona should be aware of.

It is a fact that women football in Namibia has been neglected by the general public, unlike men’s football and social media can attest to that. Hopefully on Saturday there will be a big turnout at the Sam Nujoma Stadium as it will also be the first international football match to be played at the stadium this year, which makes it a very interesting match to look forward too, especially in the absence of the Namibia Premier League.

I am somewhat disappointed that the match was so poorly marketed by the NFA, although the media is doing its level best to make sure information about the matches reaches all corners of the country.

I recommend to coach Kasaona to play a 3-4-3 formation in the first half and change it later to a 4-3-1-2 if results go our way in the first half.

To the Namibian fans out there, let’s turn the Sam Nujoma Stadium red as we usually do whenever the Brave Warriors are playing. Come on, Young Brave Gladiators make us happy and give us a happy 30th anniversary gift ahead of our independence celebrations this year.