Local football coaches are pleased with the opportunity the Newspaper Cup presents in developing talent and scouting players for national teams.
All 14 regions are sending players to the football and netball competitions organised by The Namibian newspaper with sponsorship from Standard Bank Namibia and Coca-Cola.
With organised football in short supply, throngs of sport lovers will converge at the Oshakati Independence stadium from Friday to Sunday to witness Namibia’s U/20 footballers and netballers vying for titles.
U/20 national team coach James Britz, who is busy preparing to take a team to Eswatini for the U/20 Cosafa Cup, said with the league being inactive, this will be the best platform where younger prospects can impress and make their way into one of the national teams.
“The Newspaper Cup is an important tournament. This is where we get to see fresh and new talent. Also, it’s a very vital platform for developing such talents. Because there is no league, clubs can also get an opportunity to scout players, especially those that do not have academies that feed the senior teams,” he said.
In concurrence, former Namibia Football Association (NFA) technical director and former Tura Magic Ladies head coach Timo Tjongarero told New Era Sport the competition is important in terms of cultural exchange, which promotes peace and unity.
“It’s important that we have this competition because it provides a platform for young players to showcase their talent in a competitive environment. It also gives us as a country an idea as to where we are in terms of youth development, which is a critical element,” he said.
“For clubs, it’s important because it helps them get the right players on their team. This is the next generation of players that will represent the country on various teams.”
The competition is back after a forced two-year break in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 regulations.
The groups are:
Group A - Oshikoto, Kavango West, Erongo, Khomas, //Kharas, Otjozondjupa and Ohangwena
Group B - Omusati, Kavango East, Kunene, Omaheke, Hardap, Zambezi and Oshana regions
Group A - Otjozondjupa,
//Kharas, Zambezi and Kavango West
Group B - Kunene, Hardap, Ohangwena and Omusati
Group C - Oshana, Khomas and Erongo
Group D - Oshikoto, Kavango East and Omaheke