WINDHOEK – Having last featured for the Brave Warriors almost four years ago, Namibian Germany-based midfield-cum-striker Manfred Starke is back in the national team fold and will do battle for Namibia at this year’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.
The 28-year-old Starke, who currently plays for German club Carl Zeiss Jena in that country’s third-tier league, has already arrived in the country and is ready to join the Brave Warriors camp.
National team coach Ricardo Mannetti announced Starke’s return to the Brave Warriors nest yesterday, along with that of a 17-man provisional squad that will soon go into a training camp to be held in Dubai from June 3.
It was also announced that players that will represent Namibia at this weekend’s Cosafa Cup will also be considered for selection for the final 28-man squad for the 2019 Afcon.
Explaining his Afcon build-up and preparations, Mannetti revealed that the team will start training in Pretoria at the High Performance Center as from Monday, May 27, and will then be joined, depending on how the team progresses, by 11 more players from the Cosafa Cup squad, for a camp in Dubai.
The team will play a friendly match against Ghana on June 9 and another friendly is still to be confirmed. The squad will be reduced to 23 players by June 18 before they head for the Afcon finals.
The Brave Warriors are in Group-D at the 32nd Afcon finals to be hosted by Egypt and will play Morocco on June 23 before taking on South Africa on June 28, both at Al Salam Stadium. They will play their final group game against Ivory Coast on July 1 at Cairo International
Brave Warriors 17-man squad:
Virgil Vries; Maximillian Mbaeva; Ryan Nyambe; Chris Katjiukua; Tiberius Lombard; Riaan Hanamub; Ananias Gebhardt; Benjamin Nenkavu; Danzil Haoseb; Manfred Starke; Willy Stephanus; Petrus Shitembi; D Hotto; Benson Shilongo; Iitamunua Keimuine; Peter Shalulile; Ronald Ketjijere.