Saturday 17 April 2021
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Mannetti relies on ‘tried and tested’ for Cosafa

Habituals Hendrick Somaeb, Loyde Kazapua, Petrus Shitembi and Benson Shilongo will be the only big names the country will miss in this years’ Cosafa Cup team selection. Brave Warriors’ coach Ricardo Mannetti announced his 24-men squad this week which still need to be trimmed to a final 20-men team.
Mannetti, who recently took an ‘experimental team’ to Swaziland on a friendly affair had to revert to his old tried and tested squad with a number of international players returning from international duty to wear the national team jersey.
Tiberius Lombard who recently joined Lusaka Dynamos will return to cement his place in the teams’ defence while Danzil Haoseb and Ananias Gebhardt from Jomo Cosmos have also started training with the team. Wangu Gome from Platinum Stars and goal scoring-machine Peter Shalulile of Highlands Park and skilful winger Deon Hotto of Bloemfontein Celtic have all made the nod.
Mannetti also selected a number of local players such as Ferdinand Karongee, Riaan Hanamub, Charles Hambira, injured but recovering Dynamo Fredericks, captain Ronald Ketjijere and others.
Panduleni Nekundi with 15 goals and Itamunua Keimuine with 14 goals during the just-ended league campaign will lead the striking force.
Young lads from the experimental team who impressed Mannetti  such as Marcel Papama, Donovan Kanjaa, Ikuaterua Hoveka and Willem Pinehas have been rewarded with a call up.
“These boys simply put their hands up and I want to have another look at them to see if they will make it for the final squad,” said Mannetti.
Mannetti who won Cosafa in 2015 said the current team carries the same team spirit and can surprise the continent as they did three years ago.
“Last years’ squad did not have the right attitude in the dressing room. You find good players who are not good for the dressing room. This time we have made sure that the dressing room has been taken care of. Attitude is key and I think the current selection has the right attitude,” said Mannetti.
The Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup will be hosted in Limpopo provincial capital Polokwane, South Africa from 27 May until 9 June where the Braves have a date against Zambia in the quarterfinals on June 2.
“We are playing against a strong team, Zambia is a stronger nation than Namibia, they have won AFCON, participated at CHAN a couple of times, and they are a stronger football nation compared to us. Last year was not a good year for us but when I look at this current squad, it is well balanced, there is a lot of strength, respect among players and for the technical team and with that we can move mountains” Mannetti said.
The Brave Warriors training squad kicked off practice this weekat the NFA Technical Centre consists of: Ratanda Mbazuvara (African Stars), Maximillian Mbaeva (Golden Arrows), Edward Maova (Civics), Ferdinand Karongee (Tigers), Vitapi Ngaruka (Black Africa), Tiberius Lombard (Lusaka Dynamos), Danzil Haoseb (Jomo Cosmos), Donovan Kanjaa (Young African), Riaan Hanamub ( Orlando Pirates), Charles Hambira (Tura Magic), Emilio Martin (Black Africa), Ananias Gebhardt ( Jomo Cosmos), Ronald Ketjijere (African Stars) Gustav Isaak, Absalom Iimbondi (Tigers), Ikuaterua Hoveka (Young African), Wangu Gome (Platinum Stars), Marcel Papama (UNAM ), Willem Pinehas (Eleven Arrows), Peter Shalulile(Highlands Park), Deon Hotto (Bloemfontein Celtic), Panduleni Nekundi (African Stars) and Itamunua Keimuine (Tura Magic).
“This team is always a team that will make you bite your words. We have always been doubted but we continue to prove that we can surprise the continent. At the moment we are serious about beating Zambia and should there be a thorn in the flesh, we will remove it.
The expectations from the fans are high so we need to serve them,” said Mannetti.

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