Monday 12 April 2021
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Formidable strength added to Brave Warriors

As the Brave’s prepare to lock horns with a formidable Zambia on 8 September at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, the team management will throw in everything to secure a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification. The latest rope-in is stalwart Collin Benjamin who joins the technical team with an impressive resume.
Benjamin has an impressive technical and tactical track record on and off the field playing for German Bundesliga side Hamburg SV for 10 years before becoming an assistant coach with second division side, 1860 Munich.
Chasing his own dream, Benjamin returned home to embark on building a football center to help groom Namibia’s new generation of footballing stars through HopSol.
Benjamin was a stalwart for Namibia in the early years of the COSAFA Castle Cup, helping them into the final and later on going to have a successful career in Germany as one of Namibia’s greatest ever footballing exports.
The defender/midfielder was an exceptional, consistent performer for the Brave Warriors in an international career that spanned 14 years between 1998 and 2012. In 1998, he took his fledgling steps into international football at the COSAFA Castle Cup in 1998, making his debut in the competition in a 5-2 defeat for Namibia against Zimbabwe in Harare.
The following year he helped guide his country to the final of the COSAFA Castle Cup in what was a magnificent run in the tournament.
Announcing his welcoming to the Braves, Head Coach Ricardo Mannetti said it is very important that we work with people in the technical team who has played the game in African and abroad.
“When it comes to that Collin is an eagle. He has coaching experience that comes in handy. And when we battle in Africa, we need people around who have battled when it comes to the coaching staff. Therefore we have decided to bring in Collin to add value to the technical team in this very important period of qualification,” said Mannetti.
Without explaining clear roles which Benjamin will be taking up, Mannetti emphasized that it is all about value addition especially at a crucial time that the team needs to pass qualification.
“There are specific roles that we need professional help and experience and Collin will fit in there to make sure that we get better results. I would not have approached someone just for the sake of coming in, it is about value adding and trust me he will add the necessary value,” he said.
If Benjamin’s achievements as a player are anything to go by, one can assume he will make a success of his latest venture.
“I consider this as a call-up from Namibia and when Namibia calls, you have to answer that call. I’m actually honoured. These guys have been doing great work for the past four years that is commendable. So when that call came, I felt I have to be part of the team, try and help the team with the little that I can add and help in the path that we looking at,” said a motivated Benjamin.
The Urikhob-Stephanus-Vries effectMannetti and prodigals Sydney Urikhob, Vergill Vries and Willy Stephanus have smoked the peace-pipe that earned them a call back to the team. Their presence, according to Mannetti will be very influential against a Chipolopolo team with a young coach who has recalled the team’s heavyweights.
Mannetti will be looking forward to blending the three returnees, with active South African exports and home-based players who are yet to be active due to the home league that is yet to kick off.
“I expect positivity. I expect value adding from them. They are guys that have grown under me. I have worked with these guys for some time and no matter what happened we have a close bond,” he said.
Mannetti is happy so far with Urikhob’s form during training and the rest are yet to join camp.
“I expect them to came and add value because this is not a game where we entertain what happened in the past,” he added.
With nine days away from match day, Mannetti and his technical team will put all their efforts in getting the boys fit, a shortcoming caused by the local league that is yet to kick off.
“At the moment it’s too late for friendlies. We are actually in a situation where match fitness is a luxury. So players who have a few games under the belt will get priority while balancing the team with those who still need to catch up.”
Namibia and Zambia both have zero points in Group K after losing by the same 1-0 score lines away to Guinea Bissau and at home against Mozambique, respectively, in June 2017.
New Chipolopolo head coach Sven Vandenbroeck has brought back a number of the Chipolopolo’s biggest stars which feature Tout Puissant Mazembe, Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala, Kennedy Mweene and Sunzu Stoppila for the match in Windhoek.
“They have a new young coach. Obviously he brings a lot of energy and is expected to be dynamic. I saw the squad. They have also recalled heavyweights that won the AFCON with them. So we can expect a tough match for both teams. So it is a tight match in terms of statistics. But I feel this game will have something special on the day,” said Mannetti who called on the nation to fill up the stadium in their red regalia.
The preliminary 25-man squad will feature Maximillian Mbaeva (Golden Arrows, RSA), Virgil Vries (Kaizer Chiefs, RSA), Ratanda Mbazuvara (African Stars), Donovan Kanjaa (Young African), Larry Horaeb (Unattached), Tiberius Lombard (Lusaka Dynamos, Zambia), Charles Hambira (Baroka, RSA) Denzil Haoseb (Highlands Park, RSA), Vitapi Ngaruka (Black Africa), Riaan Hananub (Jomo Cosmos, RSA) Ananias Gebhardt (Baroka, RSA), Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa), Petrus Shitembi (Unattached), Ronald Ketjijere (African Stars), Wangu Batista Gome (Cape Umoya, RSA), Immanuel Heita (Black Africa), Absalom Iimbondi (Tigers), Deon Hotto (Bidvest Wits), Willy Stephanus (AC Kanjaani, Finland), Marcel Papama (Unam), Hendrik Somaeb (Unattached), Muna Katupose (Unam), Sadney Urikhob (PSMS Medan, Indonesia), Benson Shilongo (Smouha, Egypt) and Itamunua Keimuine (Tura Magic).

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