Local players need more time: Mannetti

06 Jun 2017 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 06 JUN (NAMPA) - The Brave Warriors played two friendly games with clubs in Ghana, which coach Ricardo Mannetti said helped him understand which of his players are match fit and who are not.
The senior national football team is currently in Accra, Ghana for a training camp, which is used as preparation for their Group K Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers with Guinea Bissau.
They will travel from Ghana to Guinea Bissau on Wednesday to compete in their first round of the 2019 Afcon qualifiers over the weekend.
Namibia is in Group K alongside Zambia, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.
Mannetti told Nampa in a telephonic interview on Tuesday they need more time with local players who have not been active since May last year, when the Namibia Premier League’s 2015/16 season ended.
“The core of the team is okay but we need more time with the local players as expected,” he said.
He added that he expects the senior players in the squad to step up to the plate in difficult times and lead the team.
The coach said captain Ronald Katjijere, Benson Shilongo, Willem Mwedihanga and Petrus Shitembi will join the team on Wednesday from South Africa.
Katjijere studies at the University of Namibia, while Shilongo, Mwedihanga and Shitembi are based in South Africa.
Mannetti could not predict their chances against Guinea Bissau, who competed at the 2017 Afcon in Gabon in January and February, but he is positive of his team’s strength.