27 Mar 2019 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 27 MAR (NAMPA) The Brave Gladiators preparations for their 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier against Botswana next week are progressing well, with 27 players currently in camp.
This was announced on Wednesday by team coach Brian Isaacs at a media conference in Windhoek, where he said the players fitness is impressive and there are no injury concerns.
Initially 29 players were called into camp with two internationals - Zenatha Coleman and Veweziwa Kotjipati - expected to join the rest of their colleagues on 02 April, prior to their departure to Botswana.
The first two weeks we had our fitness coach who was busy with the conditioning of players and that went well. We are currently playing friendlies with SKW Football Clubs Under-17 boys on Tuesdays and Fridays. This has gone well as well, Isaacs said.
He further stated that playing at the SKW field will help them prepare well as the team will play on grass in Botswana.
Isaacs added that he had an idea about Botswana after having encountered them in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup tournament in Zimbabwe in 2017.
We played them and we beat them at Cosafa. Last year we watched them in South Africa, but they have gone through a transformation, which includes new players and a new coach, he added.
The coach said while the Gladiators technical team does not have a wide base to choose from, they were confident of performing well against Botswana.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Namibia Football Association Normalisation Committee, Hilda Namundjebo-Basson said the mother body had paid part of the debt owed to the Gladiators.
We will continue making efforts to clear the debt as we go along and the players are also seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the settlement of whats owed to them. We are also looking at dressing them properly just like their male counterparts, she said.
Basson-Namundjebo said they are sending a representative to South Africa to negotiate a kit deal for all national teams, to avoid the current scenario whereby different national teams are dressed by different kit designers.
She further added that the coach will get a contract as well, while the team will now fly into Botswana as opposed to previously where they would drive to neighbouring countries.
The team will play the first leg in Gaborone on 05 April before playing the second leg in Windhoek on 09 April.
The players currently in camp are Mellissa Matheus, Lydia Eixas, Agnes Kauzuu, Viola Vliete, Anna Shaende, Uerikondjera Kasaona, Iina Katuta, Loraine Jossop, Julia Rutjindo, Kamunikire Tjituka, Eddelsisingh Naris, Sharon Pieters, Lydiana Nanamus, Lovisa Mulunga, Twelikondjela Amukoto, Asteria Angula, Ignasia Haoses, Albertina Aludhilu, Meltret Ujamba, Millicent Hikuam, Beverly Uueziua, Memory Ngonda, Shanice Daries, Kylie van Wyk, Yvonne Kooper, Thomalina Adams and Anna-Marie Shikusho.