Namibia could win Cosafa Cup: Gleeson

28 May 2015 16:00pm
By Hesron Kapanga
RUSTENBURG, 28 MAY (NAMPA) – South African football guru, Mark Gleeson says Namibia could win the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup underway in South Africa.
“However, they lack the basic skills and play awful football,” he said.
Gleeson told Nampa Thursday that Namibia plays really quick football but their “shooting is dreadful; they cannot cross well into the box”.
“If they improve on those areas they might be a good side that can compete with any team,” he said.
Namibia will play against Madagascar in the first semi-final of the 2015 Cosafa Cup on Thursday.
Gleeson added that Namibia has good individual players but most of them will struggle to play in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL).
“If I was a scout sitting here and looking at the Namibian players, I think Willem Mwedhihanga is a strong player; he can stay in the PSL despite him not featuring a lot for Amazulu last season. The other player is Golden Arrows’ defender Chris Katjiukua; he is a fantastic player, I love the way he plays.
“Virgil Vries - we all know he played well at Maritzburg United last season; Deon Hotto will struggle and Shitembi had a lot of chances that he couldn’t score in Cosafa,” he said.
Gleeson, who is the official archivist of African football for the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), said there is no particular Namibian player who really stands out for him at the moment.
He said the current team does not have special qualities, despite captain Ronald Katjijere who is in a “class of his own”, without going into detail.
He noted that Wangu Gome is a good player but his physique puts him at a disadvantage.
“My colleague William Tjongwe walked to Wangu after their Mauritius game and told him he is a good player and can make it in the PSL, but I think he is a bit short and will struggle despite him being physically strong and good on the ball,” said Gleeson, who is also a football journalist and commentator.
He said that Namibia has a chance to win the Cosafa Cup this year, because they are the only strong side left in the competition.
“If you look at all the teams in the semi-finals of Cosafa, Namibia and Botswana will reach the final. Botswana is a stronger side than Namibia, but Namibia’s style of play is quicker so they are personally my favourite to win this cup,” said Gleeson.
The other semi-finalist is Mozambique.
He indicated that the current Brave Warriors team can reach the 2017 African Nations Cup finals.
Gleeson said that if the current crop of Namibian players follows in the same positive direction as the famous Brave Warriors of 1998, then they qualify to play at the Africa Nations Cup (Afcon) finals.
Namibia will begin its Afcon qualifiers in the first week of June with an away-match against Niger.
The team of 1998 played the final of the Cosafa Cup in 1997, qualified for Afcon in 1998 and reached the Cosafa Cup final again in 1999.