Mannetti announces squad for crucial AFCON qualifier
NFA – National football coach, Ricardo Mannetti on Wednesday announced the 26-men squad to prepare for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifications match against Guinea Bissau on 17 November at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek.
Among the faces selected is Chris Katjiukua whose selection marks his return to the national team after a two-year absence.
Katjiukua comes in to substitute Denzil Haoseb who received a red card in Namibia’s match against Mozambique which they won 1-0.
“We still want to stand with the discipline issue in the team. It is very important that there is respect within the team, for technical team work, other players and for the jersey. Chris convinced me that he is willing to come on board under those terms, so we called him up,” Mannetti stated.
He added that it is vital to move on from the past, especially when players realize where they went wrong and how they want to correct themselves. Katjiukua was left out for the 2016 Cosafa Senior challenge due to poor discipline.
The Warriors’ mentor also disclosed that having the same points as Guinea Bissau means they have to pull extra weight to guarantee that they win this home game, only leaving them with Zambia to deal with. He however stated that they have created so much depth and quality in the team that he believes it will give them the extra boost they need.
“I don’t expect complacency. Every player wants to be part of this game and make history. In our last match, we had so much potential on the bench, if a player is to become complacent, the potential on the bench will be his wake up call,” Mannetti said.
Namibia and Guinea Bissau are leading in their respective group K with 7 points each followed by Mozambique and Zambia each with four points.
Mannetti also pleaded with the Namibian nation to join the national team players in ignoring the football politics going around and rather keep their eye on the ball.
“These politics are not a new thing, they have been on going, but when we are not distracted by what’s happening in the boardrooms and keep our eyes firmly on the ball, the players do the same, and that’s the beauty of football.”
The squad consists of: Maximillian Mbaeva, Virgil Vries, Lloydt Kazapua, Chris Katjiukua, Larry Horaeb, Tiberius Lombard, Charles Hambira, Emilio Martin, Vitapi Ngaruka, Riaan Hanamub, Ananias Gebhardt, Dynamo Fredericks, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Wangu Babtista Gome, Absalom Iimbondi, Deon Hotto, Willy Stephanus, Marcel Papama, Hendrick Somaeb, Muna Katupose, Sadney Urikhob, Benson Shilongo, Itamunua Keimuine and Peter Shalilule.