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Inexperienced U20 side off to Botswana

by John Tuerijama

The technical team charged with the responsibility of gearing up the national under-20 team for the 2011 edition of the Metropolitan Cosafa under-20 Youth Championship slated for Botswana from 1st to 10th of December have assembled a largely inexperienced side for the regional youth tournament.
The Villager has reliably learnt that the initial list of players called up consisted of the under-20 charges who represented Namibia at last year’s Cosafa championship and are currently in all likelihood or  probability above the required age limit.
NFA’s spokesperson, Dan Kamati confirmed that the list has been forwarded to the Cosafa but was at pains to explain why it had not been made public earlier.
Kamati could not confirm the allegations that the initial players called (many over-aged) were of the same team that was defeated 4-1 by the current defending champions, Zambia.
The Villager understands that the technical staff had to call up a totally different team of which most are from the inactive national under-17’s team.
Team manager, Jakes Amaning could not be reached for comment on the matter.   
Although the team is unknown to many football enthusiasts, assistant coach, Ricardo Mannetti maintained that preparations held at the NFA’s Technical Centre are going according to plan.
The head coach and also the acting Brave Warriors mentor, Bernard Kaanjuka is reportedly in Botswana already.
“We brought in lots of new players, especially from the national under-17 team to have a mixture with some old players of the under-20 side,” said Mannetti.
Namibia is in the ‘group of death’, which features Angola, Madagascar and Zimbabwe but Mannetti is confident that his charges will progress beyond the group stages even though the team had not been competitive.
Namibia will open their campaign against Zimbabwe in Group D on 2 December with their second encounter scheduled against Madagascar on 5 December with their final group stage match set for 6 December against neighbouring Angola.
Defending champion, Zambia is in Group C with Tanzania, Mauritius and South Africa as host Botswana is in Group A along Comoros, Swaziland and Mozambique while Group B consists of Seychelles, Malawi and Lesotho.
Namibia departs for Botswana tomorrow (Tuesday).