Monday 12 April 2021
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Newspaper Cup kicks off tomorrow

The 17th edition of the annual Namibian Newspaper Cup kicks of tomorrow at the Vineta Sports Stadium in Swakopmund until to Monday, 17 April under the theme ‘Kick reckless driving out of Erongo.’ After successfully hosting the cup in 2006, Erongo won the bit to stage the games last year, relegating Zambezi to the consolation prize of hosting the Easter tournament this year.  Erongo last won the cup in 2012 at Keetmanshoop in the //Kharas Region and they are hoping to take it away from Oshana this year when they play Kavango East on the third match of the first day.  Close to 300 players with their supporting teams from all 14 regions across Namibia will participate in the 17th edition of the tournament.
The national youth football competition launched in 2001 has fast become one of the most exiting competitions on the country’s football calendar.  Towns like Tsumeb, Outjo, Rundu, Walvis Bay, Mariental, Otjiwarongo, Oshakati, Gobabis, Keetmanshoop and the capital Windhoek have all lived up to expectations in producing talent that today represents real testimony of football development in the country.  Going through the competition are names like Sadney Urikhob, Maximilion Mbaeva, Virgil Fries, Benson Shilongo, Chris Katjiukua, Willem Mwedihanga, Wangu Gome, Petrus Shitembi, Da Costa Angula and other who feature in the national team came through the competition. About 60 percent if not more of the Brave Warriors features players from the Namibian Newspaper Cup.  According to the books of the organisers, the crowd-pulling event has developed a strong social responsibility in giving back to the host towns. Around N$2 million is said to go the economy of the host town through the booking of accommodation, sales of food and products by the vendors/small businesses, and other activities centered around the competition.
The host town and organisers have showed readiness to host the event saying all mechanisms are in place to blow the first whistle come tomorrow. “With the support of all our stakeholders, we managed to collect all the funds we need to ensure facilities are ready for all the players and support teams during this time. Once again, teamwork is what is going to make this the best event ever,” said the chairman of the organising committee Charles Muukua.
Brave Warriors caretaker Ricardo Mannetti is equally excited to travel to the coast for a full weekend of football. Being involved with the under 17 national team and the development structure, Mannetti noted that the purpose of the event is something close to his heart.  “It is a good opportunity for clubs to come and scout for new players. Not only that, the competition will showcase how our football in the future will be like. This is what will transpire in terms of the reality of our football in the next two to three years,” said Mannetti. “Definitely, I will be going to look out for new talent. I will be looking at who is ready and who we can bring in the team in the next few years.” Manetti said since taking over the national team, at a time when the competition had already started, they have brought in about 13 players from the Namibian Newspaper Cup. As such, he has observed that about 50 percent of today’s Brave Warriors came through the ranks of the competition.
“I’m excited and hungry for football. I will be travelling to the coast for a full weekend of football.” Khomas leads the competitions successful teams sheet having won the tournament four times. They are followed by the Omaheke lads who have won the competition three times while both Otjozondjupa and Oshana have only tasted victory two times each. Host Erongo, Hardap, Kavango and Omusati have only gotten their hands on the trophy once.  Omusati will face Hardap in the first game of the competition while the host will look forward to playing with crowd advantage as they face Kavango East in the first game of the day.

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