Hardap team starting early on Newspaper Cup preparations

22 Apr 2017 11:00am
MARIENTAL, 22 APR (NAMPA) – The Hardap Region’s Under-20 team that participated in The Namibian Newspaper Cup plans to start preparations for next year’s tournament as early as August this year.
Hardap ended in third place after beating pre-tournament favourites Khomas 1-0 in the third and fourth place play-offs at Swakopmund’s Vineta Sports Stadium over the Easter weekend.
Team manager Ivan Pieters told Nampa on Thursday he is happy with the team’s performance and said it was unfortunate that they did not go all the way.
“They had the ability to go all the way. Unfortunately the referees pressed us with their bad decisions, especially against Erongo, and we did not make it to the final,” he said.
Pieters said he is very proud of the players and the coaching staff and thanked the sponsors that assisted the team.
He said their plan for now is to host trials as early as August this year to supplement the remaining 13 players to make up a team of 30.
“We will then have training camps and friendlies early next year,” Pieters said.
He further noted that Hardap governor Esme Isaack is planning a tournament to keep the team busy.
“We would also like to take the boys for friendly matches, especially to South Africa, if we can get sponsorships,” the team manager said.
Pieters urged business owners from Hardap to come forward to assist the team with team apparel.
“With such assistance we will be more motivated and just might bring back the trophy to Hardap,” he said.
Brendon Kotungondo and Abednigo Hummel were selected for The Namibian’s shadow team while Johannes Hollombach and Marcel Marcello Kisting were selected for the Nedbank shadow team.
The shadow teams played against each other in an exhibition match on Sunday.
Overall, 75 goals were scored by the 14 regions in all 22 matches, with Hardap scoring 15 and conceding three goals.
Chris Jacobs and Benni Romario Mouton were the top scorers for Hardap with four goals apiece. Kisting was second with three goals, while Brandon Kotungondo scored two goals.
The remaining two goals were scored by Romario Umati and Patrick Amutyakala.