Brave Warriors interim coach Bobby Samaria yesterday said he would assemble a mixture of home and foreign-based players in preparation of next month’s international friendly against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.
Although Namibia has not had premiership football for almost two years now as a result of infighting between the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and the Namibia Premier League (NPL), Samaria remains undeterred and is confident that the Brave Warriors will be competitive when they face their neighbours.
The South Africa Football Association (Safa) earlier this week confirmed they have secured two international friendlies against Namibia and Zambia, with both games slated for next month during the Fifa international period. All three nations plan to use the matches as preparation for their upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers set for November.
NFA acting secretary general Franco Cosmos confirmed that the match between Brave Warriors and Bafana Bafana will now be held in South Africa, and no longer in Windhoek as earlier announced.
“We got an invitation from Safa and they now confirmed that the game will take place in South Africa and no more in Namibia. However, they are awaiting the announcement by their government to allow international travelling. Without that, we won’t be able to get into South Africa,” Cosmos said.
Samaria yesterday told New Era Sport that he plans to include everyone from foreign based to local players.
He said that Namibia has in the past managed to qualify for major tournaments in the absence of an active premier league, saying excluding local players from the upcoming friendly is more like denying them an opportunity as they have already been out of play for almost two years.
“We are working around on how we will select players for the coming friendly. Looking in the past, Namibia has managed to qualify for bigger competitions such as the African Nations Championship (Chan) without an active league in the country. I think its still the same for now, the boys are ever ready and I think they can do it. There haven’t been football activities in the country for a while and we want to use this opportunity to also give the locals the opportunity to play.”
“I know scouts are going to be there and looking at how our foreign based players such as Deon Hotto, Peter Shalulile and Virgil Vries had an incredible campaign in South Africa, we still believe that if this local talents are exposed at such stages, they are likely to get that opportunity to be scouted,” Samaria said.