COSAFA eye-opener: Mannetti

22 Jul 2013 10:20
WINDHOEK, 22 JUL (NAMPA) – The senior national football team alias the ‘Brave Warriors’ head coach says their participation in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations’ (COSAFA) Cup was an ‘eye- opener’ for him to determine whom to consider for future games.
“For me as a coach, that was very good to see and assess who can smoke the pipe and who cannot - be it physically or mentally,” Ricardo Mannetti said at a media conference here on Monday shortly after the team’s first training session since returning from the COSAFA Cup in Zambia.
He said too many games played in a row during the competition led to his team’s two defeats in Zambia, adding that his players suffered fatigue before playing big teams like South Africa and Mozambique.
“Everyone was not happy with our scoring ratio, but I would like to highlight some things before I agree with such critics. We scooped the best-scoring team prize; we also created more chances, even though we could not score; we also played four matches in which three of our players were voted as Man of the Match, although it is not something I would really like to concentrate on,” he noted.
According to Mannetti, getting 'Man of the Match' awards show that Namibia has some talent, adding that his main objective is winning matches rather than producing 'Man of the Match' players.
With regards to goal-scoring which is major challenge, the head coach said himself and his assistant Ronnie Kanalelo tried fixing such issues, but the time was not enough to do more as they only had a week for preparations.
“I think all of us know that goal-scoring is not something that you can buy at a shop, or anywhere else. You need composure, and a lot of good training repetitions. Our strikers and attackers need to work more, but until such time, we will be having trouble with scoring,” he stressed.
Mannetti added that he and his technical team are still busy getting the strikers to hit the back of the net, as well as working on the defensive department, which according to him conceded “soft goals”.
In terms of the goalkeeping department, he said it is a specialised department and a critical one, where ‘things’ also need fixing to bring mistakes to an end.
Meanwhile, the coach announced that goalkeeper Virgil Vries, who was blamed by the nation for conceding ‘soft goals’, has now been replaced by Efraim Tjihonge.
“Virgil has been our number one for the last two years, and I am blessed to have Ronnie as my goalkeeper advisor with huge goalkeeping experience. Virgil’s case was a matter that we discussed intensively, and we took a decision to take Virgil out and bring in Efraim.
Virgil plays in South Africa, and we expected him to improve with his foreign experience, but unfortunately it backfired. But, I don’t want to blame him for that. If there is anyone to be blamed, that should be me as the decision-maker,” he charged.
Mannetti also used the platform to announce that he has yet to appoint a goalkeeper coach, adding that Kanalelo is still assisting in that position until further notice.
The national team is currently training at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in preparation for the 2014 African Nations’ Championship (CHAN) qualifier match against Mozambique on Sunday.
The final team of 18 players will be announced on Thursday, and the team departs for Maputo on Friday.
The players called up for the CHAN training camp are:
Efraim Tjihonge (not attached to any club currently), Loydt Kazapua (African Stars Football Club), Maximillian Mbaeva (African Stars FC), Edwin Korukuve (African Stars), Larry Horaeb (Ramblers FC), Chris Katjiukua (African Stars FC), Da Costa Angula (Black Africa FC), Edmund Kambanda (Benfica FC), Denzil Haoseb (Black Africa FC), Tuhafeni Pekka Hamukwaya (Tigers FC), Peter Steven (Civics FC), Annanias Gebhardt (Tigers FC), Neville Tjiuza (Tura Magic), Denis Tjetjinda (African Stars FC), Freedom Puriza (African Stars FC), Emilio Martin (Ramblers FC), Willy Stephanus (Black Africa), Marvin Areseb (FNB Orlando Pirates), Jerome Louis (Black Africa FC), Bradley Wermann (African Stars FC), Riaan Cloete (African Stars FC), Deon Hotto (African Stars FC), Pinehas Jakob (Tigers FC), Sadney Urikhob (Civics FC), Harold Ochurub (Mighty Gunners FC), Benson Shilongo (Tigers FC) and Roger Katjiteo (Black Africa FC).