WINDHOEK, 16 Aug – The Namibia Football Association (NFA) said it will continue developing quality young players, following the eye-catching performance by the National Under 17 football team at the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) juniors tournament in Mauritius last month.
Speaking exclusively to Nampa following the Baby Warriors’ third place finish at that tournament, NFA Secretary General (SG) Berry Rukoro said with such a performance, the country has set a standard which the association does not want to see dropping.
“Two medals in two successive participation is a good achievement. I am very happy but I would have been even happier had they reached the final. We will now sit down as an association to identify areas where we need to improve,” he added.
He boasted that winning a gold in 2016 and a bronze in 2018 is proof that the Namibia has established itself a top three Cosafa country in terms of the development of youth football.
Namibia failed to participate in the 2017 edition due to lack of funds.
Rukoro however stated that the development of these youngsters needs proper assessment in order to achieve more good results.
“We need to find a way of involving the families and the schools so that these boys can perform well academically and in football. We need to find ways of accessing funding for these boys from as early as under 13 or even younger,” he further explained.
On his part, NFA’s Technical Director, Timothy Tjongarero said Namibia has enough talent, the only problem is identifying it early on and nurturing it and exposing it to the highest level.
To do that, the football association needs money, he noted, adding that the Skorpion Zinc tournament slated for next month will help it to identify such talent.
Tjongarero added that as a way of keeping tabs on this talent, the senior national team’s technical department has a promotion policy which allows the youngsters to develop through the ranks.
He added that once these younger players have played in the national under 17 teams, they encourage them to play for their clubs’ under 20 or senior teams as a way of challenging themselves.
“The current Brave Warriors team in camp has a player who participated and won the 2016 Cosafa under 17. There are also a few under 20 and 23 players, so that helps in keeping them within our radar,” he explained.