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We will always play catch up

Mon, 15 September 2014 06:14
by Timoteus Shihepo

The build up to the Namibia vs Swaziland match at the Sam Nujoma stadium last week was all about a new era characterized by the new youngsters who were introduced to the team but truth be told the Brave Warriors need more than that to start a new era.
Before we emphasis on just introducing the youngsters we should first lay a foundation with good structures and better governance in place.
 Yes the coach, Ricardo Mannetti has worked with youngsters before and he is in a better position to nurture them but is he capable of maintaining the balance with the much experienced players…I am not so sure.
And for how long should we wait more for these players to be nurtured? The idea always looks good on paper but leaves a lot to be desired because the ‘nurturing of players’ has been on the agenda for long and nothing comes out of it.
Remember the 2010 Under 20 squad which went all the way to before losing to Zambia in the final of the U20 COSAFA Cup, many of us thought that was the blueprint of the new era of the Brave Warriors but fast forward the years that era is fast disappearing.
Players like Collin Ndjai, David Petersen, Edmund Kambanda, Hendrick Somaeb and Benson Shilongo are not in the national team today.  In fact with the squad that played Swaziland last Wednesday there is no player who played in the 2010 U20 Cosafa cup but yet we are talking about grooming players.
Now apparently we have introduced budding players like Wangu Gomes, Edward Maova, Chester Stanley, Aubrey Amseb among others but what guarantee is that these players will be there when we start playing the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers? Or will players like Petrus Shitembi, Sadney Urikhob and Neville Tjieuza come throw these boys back to the back of the queue once the qualifiers start?  Can Mannetti shrug of the pressure and stick with the kids even if Namibia is being defeated heavily? Will these players stick together for a very long time? These are just some of the questions that needs to be answered before we can be certain that it’s a new era.
A youngster being called up for the Namibia’s national team is another thing but relegating players like Henrico Botes, Lazaruz Kaimbi or Rudolph Bester on the bench is another thing.
Unless Mannetti proves that he got balls to bench some of the useless experienced players and give the youngsters a chance, the new era will just be a good idea in the newspapers rather than on the pitch. Over to you Mannetti.