MANZINI, 19 APR – The Brave Warriors arrived safely in Manzini, Swaziland on Wednesday night, prior to their international friendly match against the host nation on Thursday.
The team is based at the Esibayeni Lodge in Matsapha, which is 9 kilometres from the city of Manzini.
The senior national football was invited to compete against Swaziland’s national senior team, also known as Sihlangu Semnikati (King’s Shield), as part of celebrations for the host nation’s 50th Independence Day and King Mswati III’s 50th birthday.
Brave Warriors coach, Ricardo Mannetti told Nampa on Thursday the team has settled in well and the players are looking forward to the match.
“The team spirit is high and our objective with this game still remains the same: give chance to these new players we brought into the team for the first time,” Mannetti said.
He added that after receiving news that Namibia will play Zambia in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament, he will use the game against Swaziland to see if more of these new players can be included to his squad for that competition.
The 2018 Cosafa Cup draw was conducted in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday and will be staged in South Africa’s Limpopo Province from 27 May to 09 June.
Namibia went straight to the quarterfinals because of its fourth position on the southern African section of the Confederation of African Football rankings and because it played in the Plate final of the 2017 Cosafa edition in South Africa, where they lost 0-1 to the hosts.
Mannetti added that Mapenzi Muwanei from Tigers Football Club will be one of the players making the starting line-up on his debut for the senior national team.
“Our goal with this match today is to give game-time to all the players we brought here. But I don’t want to throw them in the deep end as we are not playing at home and the atmosphere will not be friendly for them but through the course of the game, I’ll try to give all players a chance to show what they can offer to the team if selected for future competitions,” he said.
Mannetti, however, stated that the core of his starting line-up will consist of senior players.