Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti has taken his hat off for Debmarine Namibia for their investment in football at a dark time, especially when the sport failed to attract any corporate companies for sponsorship until recently. This year, Debmarine Namibia pumped N$14.1 Million into the football fraternity, that saw the birth of the Debamrine Namibia Cup that will conclude this weekend.
“The cup came at a dark time. It was a time when everyone switched the lights off and hopes of seeing football were minimal. As the national coach, it gave me a pool players and somewhere to look at for selection. I looked deeper in these teams and the talent was everywhere. It gave those players that would not normally be seen that much an opportunity to step up and showcase their talent. So I am impressed and I hope that they [Debmarine Namibia] get the recognition they deserve,” said Manetti.
Manetti reiterated that it is time corporate Namibia learns from the few corporates investing in Namibian football.
He lauded Debmarine, who despite the politics and negativity that plagued the football fraternity still believed in the potential that existed. “If we ignore what happened to football this year and the success we recorded under tough circumstances, then I do not know what will ever give us hope. I just hope that what Debmarine saw in the Namibian child, other corporate companies will see as well.”
Rookie triumph or Gunners redemption?
It will be the clash of the rookie versus a side that is determined to do things right this time around. Young African recently got promoted to the elite league of Namibian football.
They are up against a side that has been around, even making it to the NFA cup finals in 2013 but failing to get the gold honours.
Gunners came close in 2013 when they lost 2-0 to African Stars in the final at the Sam Nujoma stadium and team manager Kati Nambandi reckons that experience, together with proper planning is already a recipe for success this weekend.
“We only have one objective this weekend, and it is to win the cup. We came this far and we are ready. It is a special game for us in terms of the way we will approach it, we are going for the kill,” said an optimistic Nambandi.
Narrating the team’s journey to the final, Nambandi said they went through hurdles and are not prepared to let their hardwork go in vain.
Young African, playing in its backyard, also have a plan to gun down Mighty Gunners despite the underdog tag. “It is a big occasion for us. We have prepared ourselves and we will stick to what we are good at doing and avoid getting overexcited. From training, you can see that the boys are up for the challenge,” said the team’s assistant coach Marcelo Wakudumo.
He added; “We have come this far not by luck, but because we worked hard. So we are gunning for the cup.”
But before the final kicks off, football fanatics will have a chance to witness the 2017 NFA Women Super Cup final that will serve as a curtain raiser.
Tura Magic and Khomas NAMPOL will lock horns at 13h00, with the Magicians avoiding complacency while NAMPOL declare their hunt for the first ever silverware at this level.
The winner will walk away with the trophy and N$ 20 000.
Match-day tickets will be sold at NFA Soccer House and at Computicket outlets at Shoprite and Checkers stores countrywide for N$ 30 each.
The two male finalists will each receive an increased N$ 30 000 for travel and preparations while the Man of the Match will get N$ 5000.