Monday 12 April 2021
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Brave Warriors trains in South Africa ahead of AFCON clash

The Brave Warriors will be heading to South Africa on Sunday where they will be training before they will jet off to Lusaka for the do-or-die AFCON clash against Chipolopolo.
The Brave Warriors are on the verge of qualifying for their third appearance at the AFCON finals. Saturday’s match will probably be one of the Warrior’s toughest tests in AFCON football with Zambia as the last obstacle in their impressive march to qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations scheduled for June and July in Egypt, the land of the pharaohs.
Namibia are second in Group K on eight points and need a positive result from their away encounter against Zambia on 22 March.
They will also be hoping for a huge favour from group leaders Guinea Bissau (also on eight points) to defeat or draw against Mozambique, who are in third place on seven points.
Zambia, the 2012 AFCON champions, will be playing for pride, having already fallen by the wayside in the race. Chipolopolo’s form in the continental football showpiece has been deteriorating since defeating Ivory Coast to win their first continental title. They also failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON final.
The Brave Warriors who have been training with local players are expected to resume full training this Monday in Johannesburg South Africa.
Speaking at NFA house in Katutura, coach Ricardo Mannetti said they have been training but they expect to return to real business when they all meet in the neighbouring country for full training.
“We started training, we are busy with local players at the moment. We know some of the players in the squad will be involved in cup ties over the weekend so we have to share these players with the clubs.
“We will only resume full training next week, that will be in South Africa, when everyone will be available. Players playing outside the country will join the rest of the players in South Africa to begin full training,” said Mannetti.
The coach highlighted that the mood in the camp has been overwhelming at the moment with all players focusing on the big day.
“The mood in amongst the players are is overwhelming, everyone is excited, no injuries at the moment and we are hoping no injuries will occur before the crucial tie.”
With the Brave Warriors shot stopper Virgil Vries not having much game time at the club, having gone four games without playing despite Veteran Itumeleng Khune being injured, this has raised concern whether the Ricardo Manneti will consider looking at other options as well.
He told The Patriot that that decision will only be taken into account next week, as he believes all the four goalies that he had called up are quality.
“All of the four goalkeepers are quality players and that decision will only be taken next week when full training resumes. All of them are not that consistent at the moment. So yes we will see from next week,” said Mannetti
Early this year there was transition in the NFA administration, which saw FIFA appointing the new NFA Normalisation Committee.
When asked if such a change had any effect on the current crop of players, he told The Patriot Sports that they are more focused on the mission of qualifying for the AFCON.
“We are focused on the mission to qualify. Football administration issues don’t involve players, so the mind-set is to get to Egypt.”
Meanwhile he argued fans to go to Zambia and rally behind their team. “We are calling all the fans who can make it to Zambia, to come and support to the boys. It will mean a lot to the players to see many fans”

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