Saturday 19 June 2021
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Mannetti upbeat about future of Namibian football

Following an impressive performance from the youngsters who stepped up to claim a 2-1 victory against Ghana last weekend, National football team coach Ricardo Mannetti is banking on the current crop of young players to propel the country to greater heights in the years to come.
He is also confident that the team can be a force to be reckoned with, both at continental and international showpieces going forward.
Mannetti knows what it is like to play at the African Nations Cup having represented Namibia at the biggest continental competition. In his post interview following the Ghana victory, the ‘Brave Warriors’ Coach told The Patriot that the victory proved the project they are building is reaping fruit and it was wonderful to see that the future of Namibian football looking good. He added that there is enough depth in the squad which makes the coaching teams’ selection easier.
When questioned about his plans for the AFCON qualifying match against Zambia, Mannetti answered that they will approach the Zambia match with a winning mentality, saying that they have proven to the entire Africa that they can play anywhere and win a match referring to Namibian 2-1 triumph against the ‘Black Mambas’ of Mozambique in Mozambique which they followed up with one-nil victory in their last month’s encounter. Mannetti added that they want to win against Zambia so they don’t care about the Zambians’ plan to ruin Namibia’s dream of qualifying for the African Cup of the Nations in 2019. He further added that they will stick together and approach the match according to their plans, saying they will travel to Lusaka aiming for three points.
“It is about the project and it is wonderful to see that the future of Namibian football looks bright whether I am going to be there or not. All I know is that we will put up a good performance, we want to win. We showed the entire Africa that we can play anywhere in Africa and get maximum points. We got the results against Mozambique both home and away. We will stick to our game plan and I don’t care how the Zambia will react to this game. We are going to Lusaka to win”, he said.
Mannetti further praised the young left back, Aprocius Petrus of Life Fighters, Dynamo Fredericks as well as Marcel Papama for their good performance, adding that the CHAN team looks good and competitive. He stated that the players wanted to do justice to the President’s Cup, stating that they indeed rose to the occasion.
The Namibian head coach confesses how impressed he was by the Ghanaians’ performance especially during the second interval, saying that the opponent really played beautiful football and they were better than his team.
“Today, we had an 18 year-old (Aprocius Petrus) making his second appearance for the national team and he performed so well. Dynamo Fredericks really impressed me and Marcel was good playing on a different role. Ghana played better than us in the second half, creating chances and they scored from a set piece which was poor marking from us.
Namibia will now set their sights on booking a place in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.
Namibia hasn’t qualified for the major tournament since 2008, when they were knocked out at the group stages of the AFCON.

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