Revered local coach Bobby Samaria was yesterday hastily roped in to take charge of the Brave Warriors and oversee their upcoming 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying campaign, which starts with a vital clash against the Comoros on July 26 (home) and August 2 (away).
FIFA Normalisation Committee chairperson Hilda Basson-Namundjebo confirmed Samaria’s appointment and called on the nation to support the coach and team. Samaria, who was brought in to take charge after Colin Benjamin turned down the offer to spearhead the team, remains head coach of African Stars FC and is only with the Warriors for their CHAN assignment.
“We have got a coach for the CHAN team and we believe Bobby has the right mentality and enthusiasm to lead the team at this juncture. We were never going to pull out these important qualifiers and the team starts training on Tuesday. The previous head coach initiated this project and players and we’re just carrying it through for continuation. We will support the team in order to get the best out of them,” Basson-Namundjebo says.
Samaria returns to the national team fold after some time out and is looking forward to the challenge. “When I was approached to consider the offer to coach the national team, I was excited and firstly needed to get the blessings from African Stars who gave me that and then I accepted to serve my country in this capacity. I was frozen out for some time and now I have grown wiser and bolder to serve. Being part of the set-up is not an entitlement and I’m ready to work,” says Samaria who was coach of the national under-20s and under-23s between 2005 and 2008.
Samaria, who has won three league titles with Stars – in 2009, 2010 and 2017 – and coached Tigers and Black Africa, have called up 31 players.
“We have only this week here, and Monday we leave for Comoros and I must emphasise that we are pressed for time but that should not be an excuse because the players are footballers and these types of situation are common to them and to me as a coach as well,” Samaria said.
In qualification for the 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco, Namibia beat Comoros 2-1 on aggregate to qualify after seeing off Zimbabwe in the second round.
The 31 players called up: Larry Horaeb, Charles Hambira and Junias Theophilus (Tura Magic), Aprocious Petrus (Eleven Arrows), Kennedy Eib (Touch & Go), Mata Mbemutjiua (Young African), Jonas Mathias (Citizens), Edmund Kambanda and Charles Uirab (Unam), Ratanda Mbazuvara, Treasure Kauapirura, Ivan Kamberipa, Obrey Amseb, Marcel Papama and Gustav Isaak (African Stars), Immanuel Heita, Dynamo Fredericks, Wesley Katjiteo, Vitapi Ngaruka, Emilio Martin, McCartney Naweseb, Wendell Rudath (Black Africa), Mapenzi Muwanei, Llewelyn Stanley and Absalom Iimbondi (Tigers), Isaskar Gurirab (Life Fighters), Elmo Kambindu, Olsen Ameb and Bernard Horaseb (Mighty Gunners), Panduleni Nekundi (unattached), Revered Matroos (Young Brazilians).