Windhoek - Brave Warriors players have reported for training in preparation for the 2021 Championship of African Nations Cup (CHAN) as Namibia gears for the football tournament that will be hosted next year in Cameroon.
Namibia is drawn in group D alongside Guinea, Tanzania and Zambia for the tournament that is reserved for players who are based in their home countries. The tournament is scheduled for 16 January to 7 February.
Namibia has not enjoyed top tier football league for two years now as the local league was in abeyance because of boardroom squabbles. Local players have had to rely on social leagues to get some action.
Nevertheless, coach Bobby Samaria – who called up a provisional squad of 31 platers to camp - is optimistic despite his plans being disrupted by the boardroom fights and then the COVID-19 pandemic that put a freeze on sporting activities for the better part of the year.
Samaria said, “The challenge is getting the players match fit and what complicates matters is that we won’t be able to play local regional teams as we did prior to COVID-19, unless those teams get tested too.”
He said he hoped to arrange a friendly match with a fellow Southern African team to prime his side ahead of the tournament.
Meanwhile, after coming up short against Mozambique in the final of the recent COSAFA Under-20 Championships, Namibia’s Young Warriors are set to regroup and start preparing for the African Cup of Nations U20 finals, which also serve as 2021 World Cup qualifiers.
Coach James Britz said the players had been given a break but would soon resume training ahead of the tourney slated for February 14 to March 4, 2021 in Mauritania.
“It’s a pity we didn’t get a favourable result in the (COSAFA) final but our performance at the tournament was excellent, and it was certainly beyond expectations,” he said.
The Young Warriors won the Fair Play Award at the COSAFA tournament.