RICARDO Mannetti opted for experience and versatility when naming his 23-man squad for the upcoming 2018 Africa Nations Championship on Wednesday.
Those qualities will be key to Namibia's hopes of emerging from Group B, which also consists of Ivory Coast, Zambia and Uganda at the tournament set for 12 January to 4 February in Morocco.
“We looked at experience over the games played last year, and also considered versatility in terms of tactics and options going into the Chan tournament,” Mannetti told the NFA website.
The head coach, who held a two-week training camp with 27 players in Tunisia, will retain two extra bodies as insurance until after the Brave Warriors' friendly against Rwanda in Tunis on Saturday.
“The boys have really given their all, and due to that, we have had the withdrawal from selection of goalkeeper Calvin Spiegel (ankle injury) and Immanuel Heita (knee injury). Then we had to decide on two more names, and finally landed on Tjiuana Tja Tjinotjiua and Gregory Auchumeb,” Mannetti stated.
“Football is an unpredictable game, and after the game on Saturday, maybe we will still need to make changes due to what might occur, so they remain with us until then.”
The spirit remains sky-high and the team is raring to go, he enthused
“All players remain positive, including the two (Tjinotjiua and Auchumeb). The goal remains common, and we are unified in that so far,” the gaffer added.
Tigers' left winger Benyamin Nenkavu overcame a knee injury to fight his way into Mannetti's plans, while Black Africa's utility man Emilio Martin, who is comfortable both at the back and in midfield, also made the cut.
Life Fighters' youngster Kleophas Useb and Young African duo Vitapi Ngaruka and Himee Hengombe are the novices in the side, with late call-up Itamunua Keimuine and Tura Magic club mate Junias Theophilus also making the Chan squad.
After Saturday's warm-up against Rwanda, the team will continue to prepare for the tournament in Tunis before leaving for their Moroccan base in Marrakesh on 11 January.
Namibia face Ivory Coast on 14 January, and then Uganda on 18 January in Marrakech before taking on Zambia in Casablanca in their final group game on 22 January. Only the top two teams advance to the last eight.
The 23 Brave Warriors for the 2018 Chan finals are: Edward Maova, Charles Uirab, Loydt Kazapua, Ferdinand Karongee, Tiberius Lombard, Charles Hambira, Edmund Kambanda, Dynamo Fredericks, Hendrick Somaeb, Petrus Shitembi, Benyamin Nenkavu, Ronald Ketjijere, Emilio Martin, Absalom Iimbondi, Roger Katjiteo, Kleopas Useb, Vitapi Ngaruka, Panduleni Nekundi, Junias Theophilus, Riaan Hanamub, Oswaldo Xamseb, Itamunua Keimuine and Himeezembi Hengombe.
- Title: RICARDO Mannetti opted for experience and versatility
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- Date: 3:24 PM