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The youth are the future ÔÇö Jacqui Shipanaga

Mon, 23 March 2015 05:19
by Andreas Kathindi
Sports

Brave Gladiators coach Jacqueline
Shipanga said she will be eager to
transitioning more youth into the team
after her youth-incorporated side ran riot
against Swaziland in the Independence eight-goal
thriller.
The Namibian women’s senior soccer team
sizzled for the 25th silver jubilee Independence
Day celebrations, routing their Swaziland
counterparts 6-2 and coach Shipanga was
delighted her gamble to include younger players
paid off.
“Often I would get criticised for attempting to
bring these young players into the squad, many
would question why I did not stick with the regular
starters, but my philosophy is always to give a
chance to talented young players. I believe youth
are the future,” the elated coach told The Villager
Sport after the game.
Despite thumping Swaziland 5-0 in another
Friendly encounter in September 2013, Shipanga
said she did not expect this test to go as easy as it
went.
“Swaziland are a developing country and their
soccer is just starting to pick up as ours is, so I was
confident in preparations but I absolutely did not
expect this type of margin,” she said, adding, “I
guess the girls were just up for it, and you could
tell that from the mood in the camp from the days
leading up to the games.”
The game which capped off festivities in
celebrations for 25 years of independence and
the swearing in of the third Namibian president,
Hage Geingob, started off at a high pace and it was
evident from the off-set that Namibia intended to
dominate.
Thomalina Adams was in blistering form on
the right wing, and probably should have racked
up more assists on the night than the two she
registered, were it not for wasted opportunities.
She provided Zenatha Coleman with the opener
within eight minutes.
Despite her petite stature, Juliana Skrywer beat
all the Swaziland defenders to a cross from Adams
yet again to head in past the goal keeper, Sibandze
Sukoluhle.
Swaziland trequartista, Mdluli Nobuhle pulled
one back with a long range wonder-goal.
However Namibia soon snuffed out all hopes
of a Swaziland comeback by making it 3-1 with
a goal from Anna Shikushu after finding Lina
Katuta’s cross.
At this point the crowd’s appetite for goals was
only being fostered as chants of ‘We want more’
reverberated throughout the spectators.
Namibia’s Lorraine Jossob was acquiescent to
the crowd’s plea and fired in a wonder-goal of her
own, just meters from the halfway line to make it
4-1.
After the break, Shipanga called to the bench
for changes and Memory Ngonda, Veweziwa
Kotjipati, Vistorine Shangula, Lovisa Mulunga,
Rita Williams and Paulus Novata took to the field.
17 year old Ngonda made an immediate impact
by making it 5-1 and becoming the youngest
scorer on the night.
Despite their opponent being out of sight,
Swaziland did not fold in defeat and pulled a goal
back to make it 5-2 with a strike from Celiwe
Nkambule but again even those celebrations were
short lived as Mulunga grabbed a late goal to
complete the rout.