Mannetti justifies splitting of teams

06 May 2019 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 06 MAY (NAMPA) – Having two teams participating in two different tournaments will benefit the national team more in the short and long term as opposed to having one team play in two tournaments within the space of one month.
This is according to Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti, who spoke to Nampa on the side-lines of a media conference on Monday where assistant coach Collin Benjamin announced a 28-man training squad for the 2019 Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup.
The team consists of largely local-based players except Lloyd Kazapua and Joslin Kamatuku who are based in the South African first division, while the team going to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will consist of mainly professional players and a couple of local-based players.
Mannetti explained that these are the end of season tournaments and normally after the end of a season, players need to rest.
“You cannot put the team in two tournaments. If we want the best from the players at the Africa Cup of Nations, they will need at least a two-week break to avoid fatigue,” he said.
Countering the question of using the Cosafa Cup as preparation, Mannetti said seeing that the Brave Warriors will be playing against Ivory Coast and Morocco, he would rather prepare against countries like Egypt, Ghana or Senegal.
“We also have to look at the fact that soon after the Afcon, we are playing an African Nations Championship (CHAN) against Comoros and we will use Cosafa to prepare for that qualification,” he added.
Namibia play Comoros on 26 July in Comoros, with the winner facing either Mozambique or Madagascar in the third round.
The coach went on to say that exposing the local players at Cosafa will give them much needed experience to use during the CHAN qualifiers as Namibians will be expecting the team to qualify again.
The senior national team faces a heavy schedule from May to early August as they will participate in two tournaments and a two-legged qualification match.
The Cosafa Cup is scheduled for 25 May to 08 June, while Afcon will take place from 21 June to 19 July in Egypt.
The CHAN qualifier matches against Comoros will take place on 26 July and 02 August 2019.