Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti said preparations for the crucial Africa Cup of Nations Cup (AFCON) final qualifying match against Zambia in Lusaka are going well, so far.
Speaking exclusively to Nampa on the sidelines of a visit by the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni to the team on Wednesday, Mannetti said the technical team was impressed with the level of commitment shown by the players.
“We started our preparations last week, ahead of Zambia, and I can assure you that the support we are receiving in the build-up for our biggest match in the last ten years surely motivates us to do well and we will go to Zambia to win. So far so good,” he said.
The coach added that the new players that he included in the national team, Treasure Kauapirura and Ivan Kamberipa, were for a change of environment.
“Players are different. Some easily blend in, while others take a little bit longer. That is why [we] always try and call up the African Nations Championship (Chan) [players] so I get to know them and they get to me. There are a few who have adjusted very well. This was really a good two weeks that we have had,” he explained.
Mannetti said the players are now showing character as evidenced by the fact that no player ran away from training as compared to the previous occasions.
Immanuel Heita is the only injury concern so far, and Mannetti added that he was expecting to take about 10 players to the second phase of the training programme to commence in South Africa on Sunday.
Mannetti further paid tribute to Minister Uutoni saying the visit to the team shows how much the country values the upcoming match.
“If the political people come to our office (training field), then it means this is national project which is very important for the nation. We are very impressed by the minister. It was an awesome touch by the minister,” Mannetti added about Uutoni’s visit to the Namibia Football Association’s Training Centre. - Nampa