Brave Warriors head coach Bobby Samaria yesterday named a provisional squad of 36 players in preparation for this month’s two remaining qualifiers of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), which will see Namibia visiting Chad on 24 March before hosting Guinea on 28 March.
Namibia is in Group A with Guinea, Chad and Mali and currently third on the group log standings with three points. Mali is topping the group with 10 points, followed by Guinea with eight points while Chad is rooted bottom of the group with no point.
The 36-man training squad announced yesterday at Football House consists mostly of regulars such as goalie Virgil Vries, Ananias Gebhardt, Denzel Haoseb, Deon Hotto, Wangu Batista Gome, Dynamo Fredericks, Absalom Iimbondi, Willy Stephanus and Peter Shalulile to mention but a few.
Samaria also roped in a few youngsters that formed part of the squad that represented Namibia at this year’s U/20 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), which sees the likes of enterprising young midfielder Prins Tjiueza, Steven Damaseb and defender Amazing Kandjii all receiving their first national team call-ups.
Notable absentees from the provisional squad announced yesterday are Malaysia-based Petrus Shitembi and Egypt-based Benson Shilongo. Shitembi, who plays for Malaysia Super League side Terengganu FC, is nursing an injury, while Shilongo – who plies his trade for Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League - has been a bit off form.
Announcing the squad yesterday, Samaria said the mission going into the last two remaining qualifiers is to pick up maximum points and hopefully boost Namibia’s chances for booking a place at the next Afcon.
“Our game against Chad is vital but it is also important for them as well. Unfortunately, if Guinea happens to beat Mali in the other game, they will go through. So, we hope that Mali will go all out to ensure a victory against Guinea as that will boost our qualification chances, but we first have to make sure we beat Chad. Of late, the team did not do well but if you look at our last encounters at CHAN, we are improving from conceding three goals in a game to a goalless draw in our last match. All we need is to play more matches for match fitness,” he said.
The squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Loydt Kazapua, Virgil Vries, Edward Maova, Ratanda Mbazuvara and Kamaijanda Ndisiro.
Defenders: Tiberius Lombardt, Ryan Nyambe, Ananias Gebhardt, Immanuel Heita, Riaan Hanamub, Ivan Kamberipa, Emilio Martin, Amazing Kandjii, Vitapi Ngaruka, Aprocius Petrus, Denzel Haoseb and Charles Hambira.
Midfielders: Deon Hotto, Wangu Batista Gome, Dynamo Fredericks, Obrey Amseb, Wendel Rudath, Absalom Iimbondi, Marcel Papama, Prins Tjiueza, Willy Stephanus, Alfeus Handura, Wesley Katjiteo, Mafred Starke and Steven Damaseb.
Strikers: Peter Shalulile, Derl Goagoseb, Elmo Kambindu, Bio Gurirab, Joslin Kamatuka and Salomon Omseb. -email@example.com