Battle for U/17 selection heats up
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) will host another training camp this weekend at the NFA Technical Centre aimed at trimming down the national under-17 side from 34 to 20 boys in preparation for the visit of their German Friends Westphalia in a Four Nations Tournament at 19-24 March at Walvis Bay as well as qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations to be hosted by Madagascar.
National under-17 team coach Turipamue Upi said that the trials hosted over last week had been successful and it was now time to work with the group of players and head of the busy schedule ahead.
“We started with a group of 35 Khomas based players and then increased the group to 60 players. The additional group included players selected from the Skorpion Zinc Cup played at Tsumeb last year. We have trimmed that down to 34 players who will report from camp this Friday after which we will be left with 20 players,” Upi explained.
The 20 players to be selected after this weekend will be travelling the country playing against regional under-17 teams to unearth more talent before selection of the team that will represent Namibia at Walvis Bay during the Four Nations Teens Tourney.
“The team looks better in terms of options of players but we need to maybe covert specific players into defensive midfielders as most of boys only want to play attack and attack. The attack looks very good and so are the wing players but we need to make the midfield stronger with some key defensive players in there,” Upi said.
The National under-17 side will play in International Four Nations Tournament in March at Walvis Bay and will then prepare for the CAF Under-17 Cup starting in June with qualifiers as well as the Zone Five Games towards the end of the year in Angola. The draw for the CAF U/17 Cup of Nations Qualifiers will be announced in due course.