Mannetti names 23-man Afcon squad, drops experienced players

10 Jun 2019 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 10 JUN (NAMPA) – Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti has announced his final 23-member squad that will do duty at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July 2019.
In a media release on Monday, the coach said he selected the best possible team for the tournament.
Mannetti made a huge call in dropping experienced players like Virgil Vries, Chris Katjiukua and Teberius Lombard, while Benjamen Nenkavu and Wesley Katjiteo were also left out.
Explaining his selection for the final team, the coach said tactics, conditioning, performance and attitude during the last two weeks were areas of concentration.
“Those are the pillars of our decision. Also the inclusion of Ryan Nyambe, his versatility is key for the changes at the back,” Mannetti said.
He added that with Vries dropped, Lloyd Kazapua will be the first choice goalkeeper at Afcon because he gave a good account for himself at the recently held Council of Southern Africa Football Associations Cup.
Manneti also explained that Ivan Kamberipa’s versatility and recent performances for African Stars in their African Safari had made it difficult for Katjiukua and Lombard.
The coach noted that this might not be the best team, but “it was the right team for the competition”.
He said he was not worried about losing experienced players like Katjiukua and Lombard in the centre of defence, as most of the players called up have played international football with their clubs and the national team at one point in time.
“We feel this team has the right energy, they are right for the tactics and will represent Namibia to the best of their abilities. These are the right players with the right work ethic and harmony,” he said.
The Brave Warriors are in Group D at the 32nd Afcon finals and will play Morocco on 23 June before taking on South Africa on 28 June, both at Al Salam Stadium.
They will then play their final group game against Ivory Coast on 01 July at Cairo International Stadium.
The team for Afcon is as follows:
Goalkeepers - Ratanda Mbazuvara, Loydt Kazapua and Max Mbaeva
Defenders - Ryan Nyambe, Larry Horaeb, Denzil Haoseb, Ivan Kamberipa, Charles Hambira, Riaan Hanamub and Ananias Gebhardt
Midfielders - Absalom Iimbondi, Willy Stephanus, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Dynamo Fredericks, Marcel Papama, Manfred Starke and Deon Hotto
Strikers - Itamunua Keimuine, Benson Shilongo, Peter Shalulile, Joslyn Kamatuka and Isaskar Gurirab
(NAMPA)
KM/PS/AS