Team in good shape and ready for Gambia: Mannetti

08 Oct 2015 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 08 OCT (NAMPA) – National senior football team coach, Ricardo Mannetti said the Brave Warriors have settled in well in Gambia and are ready to battle their West African opponents.
Namibia will play its 2018 International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) World Cup preliminary round against Gambia in Banjul on Friday.
Speaking to Nampa on Thursday in a telephonic interview, Mannetti said the team arrived in Gambia on Monday and he is happy with the treatment they have received thus far.
“Everything is going well at the moment. The players are in good shape. The food, hotel plus the training ground and the rest of the treatment we are receiving so far is good. I am happy the Gambian people have welcomed us this way,” said Mannetti.
The team travelled early to Gambia to adapt to the subtropical climate.
“It is very humid in Gambia and since our arrival on Monday, players have been adjusting to the weather very well during our training sessions.
“I am very happy that we have not recorded any injuries in the camp and we are now looking forward to working on players’ psychological setup of not winning away games.
“I can tell you that this struggle of losing our away games has been there, even when I was a player myself, but we hope this time around it will be a different story,” stated Mannetti.
He stressed that their aim is to prepare players mentally for the aggressive crowd they will face on Friday afternoon.
“We are expecting to play in a packed stadium and this is something our players are not used to. Also, the players will be active in humid weather – something that is also new to most of them. But I believe that with us coming here earlier, we will be able to compete well,” he said.
Mannetti also told this agency that Namibia’s injured striker, Peter Shalulile who was left out of the team, has started with light training at his club in South Africa and if he passes the fitness test over the weekend, he will be available for the teams’ return leg in Windhoek.
Namibia will play its return leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier on 13 October at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
The Brave Warriors were last active on 05 September when they lost 0-2 to Senegal in the 2017 African Nations Cup (Afcon) qualifiers.