Brave Warriors suffer setbacksBy: HELGE SCHUTZ
THE Brave Warriors have been dealt a blow by the unavailability of top players Tangeni Shipahu and Lazarus Kaimbi for Saturday’s friendly against Rwanda, while Henrico Botes is also a doubtful starter.
Brave Warriors coach Bernard Kaanjuka said he decided against calling up Shipahu and Kaimbi, who both played for their club Osotspa in the Thai Premier League last night.
“These boys would have had to do too much travelling within two weeks’ time, so I decided to leave them out for the home game, but they will definitely be available for the away game against Rwanda.
“They would have had to leave at 02h00 on Thursday morning and would have arrived at 19h00 on Thursday evening. Then they would have returned to Thailand on Saturday evening and then come back after two weeks when the Thai league finishes,” he said.
Botes, who scored the winning goal for his club Platinum Stars against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday, injured a thigh muscle in the process. He has joined the team but has not trained with them yet and is currently being monitored by team doctor Gerson Kandjii.
Kaanjuka said a decision regarding Botes’s fitness would be made later and if he could not play they would call up another striker.
“There are a lot of good youngsters, so if we call up a new striker, it will be someone who has already been part of our system, someone who knows the players and how the system works,” he said.
The team still includes four foreign-based players – goalie Ephraim Tjihonge of South African first-division team Milano United, and midfielders Rudolf Bester of Orlando Pirates, Ronald Ketjijere of Pretoria University and Manfred Starke of Hansa Rostock. The rest of the players are locally based and play in the Namibia Premier League.
Kaanjuka said he did not know much about Rwanda.
“We don’t know much about Rwanda. But both teams are in a rebuilding period – Rwanda also have a new coach now and they have new players.”
Kaanjuka called on Namibian fans to turn out in large numbers on Saturday to support the Brave Warriors.
“Our preparation is on track and it’s going well. We started off slowly but it’s starting to pick up now and the players have realised that they have to do more for Saturday.
“We are here to play our normal game and we will try to beat Rwanda so the fans must try and double up their numbers to come out and support the team,” he said.