Former Brave Warriors number one, Atthiel Mbaha, is back onto the resurgent path.
After a fairytale run in South Africa and with the national team that saw him become the first deaf-mute footballer at the 2008 African Nations Cup, the 37-year-old disappeared from the radar for two years.
He recently resurfaced at African Stars, albeit as second choice to Max Mbaeva.
But this week’s surprise re-call by Ricardo Mannetti to the national team has left Mbaha aplomb.
“I feel like a new person on earth. I am a brand new man. Although I deserve it, I am, somehow, surprised by the call-up. This Brave Warriors team is very young and talented and I cannot compare it to the previous one but the quality is promising. Whether I play or not against Mozambique (tomorrow), I will keep enjoying every moment during training,” said Mbaha.
Tomorrow night, in an international friendly with the Mambas of Mozambique, Mbaha will contest with Civics’ Edward Maova and Tigers’ Lloyd Kazapua for the position.
With 36 caps since his 2004 debut, Mbaha knows his position in the team is more of a role—to instil confidence—into the juniors.
Having played for Orlando Pirates, Ramblers, Blue Waters, Black Leopards (SA) and Maritzburg United (SA), it is the appreciation of his experience that he cherishes most.
“I now need to convince my club coach, Woody Jacobs, that I can. I am fighting for the first team at Stars, because to win the league, we need all the sections of the team to be on par, as we learnt from last season’s mistake,” he said through his interpreter and club-mate, Freedom Puriza.
With Mbaeva injured and expected to return next year, Mbaha has already proven to the national team coaches that he can. It is a matter of time before he regains full control.
Tickets for the 20h00 Brave Warriors vs. Mozambique match at Sam Nujoma stadium tomorrow cost N$50 per person.
The two countries have met five times in recent history, with the Mambas winning thrice, and the Brave Warriors’ only victory being a 3-0 drubbing of Mozambique late year in Windhoek.
Mozambique defeated the Brave Warriors 1-0 in the The Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup plate semi-final match in Lusaka, July 2013, and has also won 3-nil against Namibia.
Mozambique on the other hand has managed to beat the Warriors three times, 1-0 in Lusaka that followed it up with 3-0 home win and again a 5-4 shootout win in Windhoek, after Namibia had won 3-0 at Sam Nujoma to make the aggregate 3-3 in a CHAN qualifier.