Windhoek – The Namibia Football Association (NFA) Women’s Desk has announced a 29-member Brave Gladiators squad that will face Botswana in a two-legged 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier.
A brief statement availed to Nampa last Thursday said the team will play the first leg in Gaborone on 5 April before playing the second leg in Windhoek on 9 April.
The winner of the two matches will play South Africa in the next round in August, with the dates to be announced in due course.
The Brave Gladiators squad includes familiar faces and sees the return of former captain Uerikondjera Kasaona, who missed the 2018 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup due to other commitments.
Also making a return is top striker Zenatha Coleman, who is based in Spain, and also did not feature at the Cosafa Cup, as she was in pre-season with her then new club Valencia.
Annoushka Kordom of Corbin Warriors in the United States of America is however not included in the squad due to studies and work commitments.
Head coach Brian Isaacs told Nampa they will start training on 12 March in Windhoek.
“We are trying to mix experience and juniors. The Under-20s are the backbone of women’s football. We are grooming and exposing them to international football. We took some of them to Cosafa last year and we want to continue incorporating them into the senior team,” he explained.
He further stated that some senior players are now aging and it is up to the technical team to see how they can mix youth and experience within the team.
Isaacs also said women’s football does not have a big pool, hence the decision to mix the squad.
“As for our opponents, they have shown a lot of improvement since the last time we played them at Cosafa in Zimbabwe. They played well in last year’s tournament, losing narrowly to South Africa. So basically we are on the same level,” he said.
The coach said he is looking forward to the game and is hoping for good preparation and results.
The players called up for the squad are as follows:
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, Veweziwa Kotjipati, Asteria Angula, Ignasia Haoses, Albertina Aludhilu, Meltret Ujamba, Millicent Hikuam, Beverly Uueziua, Memory Ngonda, Shanice Daries, Zenatha Coleman, Kylie van Wyk, Yvonne Kooper, Thomalina Adams and Anna-Marie Shikusho. - Nampa