From the Sidelines

From the Sidelines

EVERY time the Brave Warriors go into battle on home ground, there are high hopes, I mean extremely high expectations, that they will pull it off.

This has however backfired badly in the past three years, repeatedly leaving thousands of fans in tatters, with some literally crying. The Brave Warriors are going into a crucial African Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia tomorrow, and as usual, there are a lot of (positive) comments of a possible win and all kinds of promises that the team is now ready to deliver.From May of 2004 until today, October 6 2006, Namibia has played a total of seven international matches, including friendlies.Firstly, the number of matches during that period is a far cry from the 10 or more matches that a country such as South Africa plays in one year.But worse is that Namibia has lost four of those encounters, of which all were played on their home ground.The record reads like this: 2006 – August 16: lost 1-0 to South Africa, July 23: beat Malawi 3-2, July 22: lost (1) 4-2 (1) on penalties to Seychelles, 2005 – April 16: lost (1) 2-1 (1) on penalties to Botswana, March 19: beat Lesotho 2-1, 2004 – May 9: lost 2-1 to Angola and April 28: drew 0-0 against Botswana.In 2003, the year in which Namibia played a total of eight matches, they lost six, only winning one and drawing one.Three of these matches were lost at the Independence Stadium.A woeful record indeed.The point is, if a team cannot make use of their opportunity to grab valuable points on home turf, then there is something really wrong.Although one cannot always predict results in a football match, at least there should be a sign of improving on the past records.Losing four straight matches at home is a worrying situation and it can no longer be condoned.Is this going to be defeat number five for the Warriors? If this situation is to be avoided, the players should take responsibility, as the coaches can only get them up to a certain level.The rest is up to them.The current players have the ability to turn around the fortunes of this ailing team and they know it.It is unacceptable that the Namibian football fraternity is subjected to constant humiliation by other countries in this sport, while there are footballers of calibre who can make a difference.I appeal to the current players in the national team that the time is now to rectify that pathetic record.Any national team is the pride of the country and with the trend that the Brave Warriors has had over the past three years, is something that they need to overcome with great urgency.People are fed up with seeing a losing side each time they turn up in thousands at the stadiums.That disappointment, coupled with the current administrative hiccups that have delayed the start of the domestic league, means the fans are not happy at all.I am sure the coaches have done their job and no matter who plays on the day, the onus is on the players to win the game.Excuses are not acceptable at this stage, because Namibia is tired of hearing excuses each time the team goes down.The under-23 side is not immune from this, as they also need to ensure a win.The youngsters should remember that a win by their senior counterparts will put pressure on them to do well.Despite that, the team needs to concentrate on their game and make use of their chances, as they are also playing at home.It is expected from the two national teams to repair the damage that Namibian football has suffered over the years.The players, senior as well as under-23, have to realise that by winning these matches, they will put the minds of many frustrated fans at ease, while they will also carve themselves a place in the hearts of many Namibians who love this beautiful game.So, go out there and score goals!The Brave Warriors are going into a crucial African Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia tomorrow, and as usual, there are a lot of (positive) comments of a possible win and all kinds of promises that the team is now ready to deliver.From May of 2004 until today, October 6 2006, Namibia has played a total of seven international matches, including friendlies.Firstly, the number of matches during that period is a far cry from the 10 or more matches that a country such as South Africa plays in one year.But worse is that Namibia has lost four of those encounters, of which all were played on their home ground.The record reads like this: 2006 – August 16: lost 1-0 to South Africa, July 23: beat Malawi 3-2, July 22: lost (1) 4-2 (1) on penalties to Seychelles, 2005 – April 16: lost (1) 2-1 (1) on penalties to Botswana, March 19: beat Lesotho 2-1, 2004 – May 9: lost 2-1 to Angola and April 28: drew 0-0 against Botswana.In 2003, the year in which Namibia played a total of eight matches, they lost six, only winning one and drawing one.Three of these matches were lost at the Independence Stadium.A woeful record indeed.The point is, if a team cannot make use of their opportunity to grab valuable points on home turf, then there is something really wrong.Although one cannot always predict results in a football match, at least there should be a sign of improving on the past records.Losing four straight matches at home is a worrying situation and it can no longer be condoned.Is this going to be defeat number five for the Warriors? If this situation is to be avoided, the players should take responsibility, as the coaches can only get them up to a certain level.The rest is up to them.The current players have the ability to turn around the fortunes of this ailing team and they know it.It is unacceptable that the Namibian football fraternity is subjected to constant humiliation by other countries in this sport, while there are footballers of calibre who can make a difference.I appeal to the current players in the national team that the time is now to rectify that pathetic record.Any national team is the pride of the country and with the trend that the Brave Warriors has had over the past three years, is something that they need to overcome with great urgency.People are fed up with seeing a losing side each time they turn up in thousands at the stadiums.That disappointment, coupled with the current administrative hiccups that have delayed the start of the domestic league, means the fans are not happy at all.I am sure the coaches have done their job and no matter who plays on the day, the onus is on the players to win the game.Excuses are not acceptable at this stage, because Namibia is tired of hearing excuses each time the team goes down.The under-23 side is not immune from this, as they also need to ensure a win.The youngsters should remember that a win by their senior counterparts will put pressure on them to do well.Despite that, the team needs to concentrate on their game and make use of their chances, as they are also playing at home.It is expected from the two national teams to repair the damage that Namibian football has suffered over the years.The players, senior as well as under-23, have to realise that by winning these matches, they will put the minds of many frustrated fans at ease, while they will also carve themselves a place in the hearts of many Namibians who love this beautiful game.So, go out there and score goals!

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