WINDHOEK – Brave Warriors legendary defender Mohammed “Slice” Ouseb says discipline on and off the field will be key for Namibia and will go a long way in bolstering the country’s chances at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) which starts this weekend in Egypt.
Speaking to New Era Sport ahead of Namibia’s 2019 Afcon opening clash against North African giants Morocco on Sunday at the 30,000-seater Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo, the 44-year old former national team stalwart defender advised coach Ricardo Mannetti’s charges to remain disciplined and confident when they take to the field on Sunday.
Ouseb, who is widely hailed as one of the best defenders to have ever graced the meadows of Namibian football, expressed his satisfaction with the selected squad which consists of a mixture of young, experienced and newcomers to the national team setup but urged the team’s old-time campaigners to lead and guide their colleagues when the going gets tough.
“I think there is nothing new that these guys should look out for at the tournament in Egypt, although I expect competition to be tough. The only thing that I can really advise them is to remain disciplined on and off the field. They [players] should step up their game and show Africa what Namibian football is made of, and the senior players should show unmatched commitment because it will be key in helping the team and the youngsters in the squad,” said the former Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows resolute defender.
The Tsumeb-born defender, who also plied his trade with Norwegian club FK Lyn between 2001 and 2004, said those that have aired their displeasure about the 23-man squad coach Mannetti selected for Afcon should now put their disapproval aside as the team would need everyone’s support going into a tough Afcon campaign where they will be pitted against Ivory Coast and South Africa in Group D. “I take my hat off to Ricardo [Mannetti] and his technical team, I don’t think it was easy to choose the final 23 players with so much potential in the current squad but at the end of the day, he had to drop some players and choose the final squad. I feel sorry for those that were dropped but they can always bounce back. He has been with these players for so long and I believe there is reason why he decided to omit some of those players,” added Ouseb, who was also part of the famous Brave Warriors Class of 98’.