WINDHOEK: Namibia’s Under-20 football team will use the annual FESA tournament in neighbouring Angola this weekend to prepare for the COSAFA youth championship to be held in South Africa during December this year.
A media statement issued by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) on Thursday said the team will compete at the Eduardo Dos Santos Foundation International Tournament (FESA) Patron International tournament this weekend, which will be played in Angola’s south-west Namibe Province.
According to the head coach of the national U-20 team Ricardo Mannetti, the tourney will be an eye-opener for most of the young Namibian players as this is the first time that the majority of them have been called up to the team.
“We have a lot of players out due to Grades 10 and 12 final exams, and we respect that education comes first and football second. We, however, have new players drafted in or some of the fringe players who will take their places and learn more before we go to COSAFA (Council of Southern African Football Associations) in December, which is sort of the bigger picture for us this year at this age level,” he explained.
The annual FESA competition will bring four nations together – host Angola, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia.
The Namibian delegation departs for Angola on Thursday.
“We do not have an idea who we will play yet in the semis since the draw will be done upon arrival of the teams. But it is very important that we use the game to expose our new players, and expand the pool of players from this age group,” the head coach explained.
The new players in the team are Whiley Goseb, Neyamen Nenkavu, Marcello Haraseb, Lugman Davids (based in Cape Town, South Africa), Tjiuana Tjinotjiua, Shetuowene Thomas, Michael Xamseb, Theodosius Hoaseb and Llewellyn Stevens.
Last year, Namibia lost 1-0 in the final against Angola in the northern Cabinda province’s Chianzi stadium.
The squad travelling to Angola for the FESA cup are Peter Shalulile, Wangu Gome, Enrico Hoebeb, Wentley Louw, Salom Pamp, Edward Maova, Terdius Uiseb, Innocent Tembo, Edmund Kambanda, Itamunua Keimuine, Lee-Roy Adams, Whiley Goseb, Neyamen Nenkavu, Marcello Haraseb, Lugman Davids, Tjiuana Tjinotjiua, Shetuowene Thomas, Michael Xamseb, Theodosius Hoaseb and Llewellyn Stevens.