10 Mar 2019 11:40am
By Maqonda Ndlovu
WINDHOEK, 10 MAR (NAMPA) England-based Namibian professional footballer, Ryan Nyambe has committed to play for the Namibian senior men's football team, choosing the Brave Warriors over England where he plies his trade, but will be unavailable for selection until at least August.
This was revealed by both the Namibian national team coach, Ricardo Mannetti, as well as the player himself in separate exclusive interviews with Nampa last week.
After announcing the Brave Warriors squad for the Zambia clash, Mannetti told this news agency he had been in constant contact with the Blackburn Rovers defender over the past few months in an effort to convince him to play for the Brave Warriors.
After very long negotiations with him and his mother, we have hit a brick wall in terms of getting him to play in this Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign. He is only willing to play after the Afcon in the new season, meaning any time from August. His reasoning was that he just came from a bad injury and he wants to cement his place in Blackburns starting line-up, he explained.
The coach added that the opportunity for Nyambe to play has always been available for over a year as he has been in constant communication with him to get him on board.
On his part, the 21-year-old Nyambe confirmed to Nampa via WhatsApp that he indeed had committed his international career to Namibia.
I have decided that I will play for my nation Namibia, come next season I will be a Brave Warriors player. This season I will not, because I am focused on finishing the season strong with my club, but my decision is I will play for Namibia, he said from his base in Blackburn.
Mannetti emphasised that he had been in constant contact with Nyambe and the discussions were sincere.
When I travelled to London, I made an effort to get in touch with him. From my side I have tried my best but he is not ready to join at the moment. He has been sincere with me. He will always be welcome in the national team, he said, adding that he was keen to include the player in his Afcon qualification plans.
Nyambe also confirmed his engagement with the national team coach, saying he explained to him what he (Mannetti) needed to know.
The coach said he was prepared to help the player realise his international dream as evidenced by his reaching out to him, further explaining that the door is open for any player who is eligible to represent the country.
I want to work with players who are ready to play for the country. I want to work with players who are also ready to work with me. If there are any players out there who show willingness to represent the country, I will not hesitate to call them up, he concluded.
Previously, Nyambe had entertained the idea of representing England at international level, rather than play for his country of birth, Namibia.