Brave Gladiators squad selected
During a media conference held at the Namibia Football Association (NFA), there were no surprises in the final squad with the regulars making the final cut such as captain and defender Uerikondjera Kasaona, the mercurial play-maker Zenatha Coleman and the combative midfielder Thomalina Adams.
Shipanga said they had 24 players in camp for the championship but downsized it in a not so easy process to the required final 21.
“I worked with these girls for so many years and I know what they can do and they all deserve to be around but rules are clear we need only 21 and we have the option of having a shortlist of players namely Anna Shikesho and Novata Paulus, who will be ready to ship in once there are injuries or something major to any of the 21 players before the competition starts,” Shipanga said
Head of the NFA Women Department Jacky Gertze is excited about the situation as well she said, “We have been around with this team in preparations for this competition for about eight months and it was never easy as some are in school and at work, but we have managed and thanks to the government for committing N$8 Million for that process which has brought us here today. It is a great moment and we have entrusted the coach with selecting the players that can do the job and I have no doubt these 21 will do us proud.”
Renowned local coaches Bobby Samaria, Willem Kapukare, Timo Tjongarero, Woody Jacobs and Bernard Kaanjuka were announced as members of the Technical Advisory Committee which will be headed by the NFA Technical Director Klaus Starke.
The Technical team is however still awaiting the arrival of the two versatile players Twelikondjela Amukoto and Ndapewa Katuta who are on a six-month Police training camp. “We are still considering them. They are experienced players who always give us options. Katuta can play in defence and also in midfield and Amukoto is such a rock. We were told they will be released for the championship and we are still awaiting their release. We need them,” pleaded Shipanga.
The final 21 Brave Gladiators selected are: Goalkeepers: Lydia Eixas, Agnes Kauzuu and Susanna Eises, Defenders: Uerikondjera Kasaona, Iina Katuta, Twelikondjela Amukoto, Stacey Naris, Lorraine Jossob, Ester Amukwaya and Veweziwa Kotjipati. Midfielders: Lena Noreses, Annouscka Kordom, Juliana Skrywer, Thomalina Adams, Zenatha Coleman, Memory Ngonda, Shirley Cloete and Lovisa Mulunga, Strikers: Vistoria Shangula, Rita Williams and Elmarie Fredericks.
The Brave Gladiators will play a friendly match against Algeria at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday at 17h00 with free entrance for the public. The hosts will then open the tournament against Zambia at the same venue and time on 11 October, before taking on Cote I’voire on 14 October and then facing Nigeria on 17 October to complete their Group-A assignments, all at the same venue. The top two teams from the two groups will qualify for the semifinals and the top three teams will then proceed to the 2015 Canada, FIFA Women World Cup. “It has been years of hard work and dedication for these girls. If there were no rules on how many you should have, I would keep all of them, but we need only 21 and over the course of the last few months, they have all pushed themselves hard and showed that they can do this, we are ready and ready they are indeed. It is their moment to shine and do themselves and all of us proud” Shipanga said.