By Staff Reporter
Namibia’s under-20 women’s soccer team, the Young Gladiators beat Mozambique 2-1 in their first COSAFA Women Championship game, gaining 3 points.
Sharon Katamile was named player of the match.
Head of the NFA Women’s Desk Jackie Gertze was pleased with the result, saying that the girls were relaxed before the match, played without pressure and received their result with ease.
“Early this morning already the girls were extremely hyped up in the dressing room. It was easy to motivate the girls because they were looking forward to the tournament.
They really did not look tense this morning, they were just excited to play.”
The General Manager of Women’s Football in Namibia Jacqueline Shipanga is also present in South Africa and Gertze noted that her presence at the camp was a huge motivating factor for the girls.
“After the goal was scored, you could really see that they are excited because for some of them it is their first international game and it is a big thing.
We have always made sure that we did not put any pressure on the under 20 side because they have to graduate to the senior team,” Gertze remarked.
Next, the team have match 2 coming up and have to face strong opponents in their group, such as South Africa and Zimbabwe. “Both the opponents they are playing next are extremely strong sides because they have also played under-17 World Cup Qualifiers last year, which our younger girls did not play.
Even though we are playing two strong sides, I think our team is fit. For the first time we are very well prepared with this age group which still goes to school, and the regional players joined us as soon as their exams were done, so all the girls are fit.”
Gertze expressed her excitement with the efforts that the leadership of the NFA committee are making, to ensure that girls are playing football in all the age groups.
This, Gertze says is helpful as it gives young players the opportunity to represent Namibia, for the U17 to feed into the U20 squad, thus giving the Brave Gladiators a pool of qualified and well trained, experienced players to pick from.
Yesterday the Young Gladiators’ sister team, the Brave Gladiators conceded their match to Botswana with a score of 1-0 when the Gladiators’ goal was disallowed by the match official.
For the Gladiators to proceed to the next round, they must win the remaining two games in the group stage or hope that both Botswana and Zambia lose to the other opponents or against each other.