16 May 2018 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 16 MAY (NAMPA) The national under-23 (U-23) men's football team is hard at work as they prepare to play China in international friendly matches next month.
Their two matches against Chinas U-23 football team will be played on 04 and 07 June in that country.
The match will form part of their preparation for the 2020 Total Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifiers which is used to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games that will be held in Tokyo, Japan.
The Total Africa U-23 Cup of Nations (known as the CAF U-23 Championship until 2015) is the main international football competition for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) nations, played by players under 23 years of age.
The tournament which will be held in Egypt in 2019 will see the top three teams qualifying automatically for the Olympic Games. The fourth-placed finisher plays in a play-off against a team from the Asian Football Confederation.
A total of 16 teams will qualify to play in the final tournament of the 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, Namibia Football Association Technical Director, Timo Tjongarero, who is currently overseeing the teams training, said they are trying to have an idea of what players are in their squad, hence the reason for having any early camp.
Our CAF qualifiers will start later this year, but by August we will know who our next opponents are.
The purpose of us hosting an early training is to have a feel of who we have in the squad plus identify our strengths as well as our weaknesses and where we need to improve our squad.
Tjongarero added that they have 26 players in camp and 10 of them are first timers in the national setup.
At the end of this weekend, we will know who is traveling with the team to China. The boys in camp are training hard and I am hopeful they will give a good account of themselves, Tjongarero said.
The U-23 football team will be in action this weekend, when they play in a curtain raiser match at the final of the Debmarine Namibia Cup against an opponent yet to be announced.