The Brave Warriors side assembled for the Cosafa Cup in Zambia next month could spring a surprise if they maintain the momentum and the guts they displayed against African champions Nigeria in Windhoek over a week ago.
From a group of 25 players that gathered at Soccer House yesterday (Sunday) for their training camp leading up to the tournament, The Villager made an assessment of key players that could be considered for the tournament.
Newly appointed coach Ricardo Mannetti appointed Black Africa defensive stalwart, Da Costa Angula as his captain and his experience will with no doubt serve the team well, while his defensive skills are superb.
But in goal, Virgil Vries is a cut above his peers in that department due to his height, agility and commands his back four effectively.
Also in defense is defence is Ramblers strongman Larry Horaeb, who was possibly one of the most outstanding backs during the Nigeria tie and his inclusion in the side, should be automatic, while former Eleven Arrows defender, Chris Katjiukua’s fighting spirit is an added bonus to the backline.
Katjiukua has the height and has experience on the international level and his ability to clear the lines and good eye to set-up off-side traps is also a credit for inclusion.
Freedom Puriza has gained significant experience at Stars and his versatility shows as he can also be used as an attacking midfielder on the left flank, while he is also suitable to compliment the back four.
In midfield, the inclusion of Bradley Wermann in the training squad could not come at a better time as his magic in the middle of the park can further spark the form of his teammates.
Wermann should be able to connect with ease alongside Ramblers’ dynamic Emilio Martin and Black Africa’s perfect ball controller Bryan Bantam.
There is also the inclusion of African Stars ‘little man’ Riaan Cloete who got a shot in the arm this time under Mannetti and he, alongside Wermann can turn the tables against any opponent with their silky footballing skills.
Cloete’s precise passing has been superb and can also turn his energies into an attacking mode in search of goals.
In attack, another African Stars frontman, Deon Hotto has a long future with the Warriors and his talent came to the fore against Nigeria after he was brought up as a substitute.
The young lad came from nowhere and made an instant impact in possibly the toughest team to keep a spot this season and his prowess and a knack for finishing is admirable.
Pineas Jacob is also one of the future star strikers for the senior team and he even did a better job that his seniors in Lazarus Kaimbi and Tangeni Shipahu against the Super Eagles.
Another inclusion in the striking position could be the MTC Premiership Top Goalscorer, Harold Ochurub who did not yet had a chance at the national level to prove himself.
If selected for Zambia, Ochurub can just unlock the doors for the misfiring Warriors to start hitting the net more regularly.
Between Black Africa’s striker Roger Katjiteo and Benson Shilongo of Tigers, Shilongo could get the nod as he contains the ball well, while he has good composure.
Katjiteo is a tall figure, moves easily into space and can also finish-off well, but Shilongo can be dangerous with his strikes and has a fearless fighting spirit.
From the said players, Mannetti an abundance of talent and can pick and choose as much, while his advantage would be that he worked with most of the players at the youth level and knows all their strong and weak points.
The Cosafa Cup takes place from 6-21 July in Zambia.