‘Warriors have to win’

‘Warriors have to win’

BRAVE Warriors coach Ben Bamfuchile demands that the team start winning matches to serve as a morale booster ahead of the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana in January.

Bamfuchile told The Namibian Sport in an interview yesterday that he wants the team to start winning after they lost 2-0 to Tunisia in an international friendly in that country at the weekend. “The players need to change the style and we have to go for a win in our next matches,” he said.Namibia next play Egypt on January 5 at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek.He said although these are top football-playing nations, Namibia have no excuse for not winning their matches as they are equally competitive on the international front.”We cannot allow ourselves to be losing matches time and again.It is time to start winning our games now because it will serve as us well in confidence as we are going into Ghana,” he said.He said the players matched their Tunisian opponents very well, despite the home team having a team that has played together in the past three Nations Cup finals.”That team has been together for years and it was just a see-saw because the boys were equal with them.We attacked well, but in the end, we conceded two goals in the last ten minutes of the match,” he said.The first goal was scored with ten minutes to go, while the second came in the last five minutes.Bamfuchile said generally he was happy with the performance of most of the players, but added that the absence of some players reduced their chances of making an impact.He said players such as Meraai Swartbooi and Letu Shatimunene were dearly missed in the match, and he wants them in their next match against Egypt.When asked if he will include more players for training camps, Bamfuchile said he would take a bigger squad of players to a training camp in Germany.The camp is planned from December 10 to 23 and Bamfuchile will then trim the side at the second training camp which will be held in Windhoek from December 27 to January 4.He said he had asked his assistant coach, Brian Isaacs, to look into the goalkeeper department because more goalkeepers still need to be tested.He added that there were at least two South African-based players that might be dropped from the final team that leaves for Ghana.He said this was because there are at least three local players who are doing a better job in the local league than the South African-based players.He did not mention names, but said the players would all be given a chance to prove themselves.He also warned other players in the team against complacency, saying that their tickets to Ghana are not guaranteed.”There is still a lot of room for improvement among many of these players.All they need to do is work hard and prove that they are serious.We don’t want players who are not geared for winning matches.They should believe in themselves and should realise that being in this tournament is important for themselves and the country,” said the Zambian-born coach.He said at this stage, the players in the side know what is expected from them.”They understand what this is all about and they know what kind of opposition they would face.The one thing is that they should never think that the opposition is always stronger than them despite being big forces in football.They should just go out there and take them on,” he added.Bamfuchile said Namibia declined an offer to play against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, who lost 1-0 to the United States at the weekend.”They want solace and we are not prepared to play a losing team,” he said.Instead of choosing African opposition for their Afcon preparations, South Africa have chosen to play countries such as Italy, USA and Canada.Namibia might possibly squeeze in a match against Zambia, but that still needs to be confirmed.The Warriors will now take a break until December 7, before they leave for the training camp in Germany on December 9.The training camp ends on December 23, giving them a Christmas break until December 26.The team gets back to training on December 27, before the tie against Egypt on January 5.Six days later, Namibia will meet Senegal in an away match in Dakar before moving to Accra on January 14.”The players need to change the style and we have to go for a win in our next matches,” he said.Namibia next play Egypt on January 5 at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek.He said although these are top football-playing nations, Namibia have no excuse for not winning their matches as they are equally competitive on the international front.”We cannot allow ourselves to be losing matches time and again.It is time to start winning our games now because it will serve as us well in confidence as we are going into Ghana,” he said.He said the players matched their Tunisian opponents very well, despite the home team having a team that has played together in the past three Nations Cup finals.”That team has been together for years and it was just a see-saw because the boys were equal with them.We attacked well, but in the end, we conceded two goals in the last ten minutes of the match,” he said.The first goal was scored with ten minutes to go, while the second came in the last five minutes.Bamfuchile said generally he was happy with the performance of most of the players, but added that the absence of some players reduced their chances of making an impact.He said players such as Meraai Swartbooi and Letu Shatimunene were dearly missed in the match, and he wants them in their next match against Egypt.When asked if he will include more players for training camps, Bamfuchile said he would take a bigger squad of players to a training camp in Germany.The camp is planned from December 10 to 23 and Bamfuchile will then trim the side at the second training camp which will be held in Windhoek from December 27 to January 4.He said he had asked his assistant coach, Brian Isaacs, to look into the goalkeeper department because more goalkeepers still need to be tested.He added that there were at least two South African-based players that might be dropped from the final team that leaves for Ghana.He said this was because there are at least three local players who are doing a better job in the local league than the South African-based players.He did not mention names, but said the players would all be given a chance to prove themselves.He also warned other players in the team against complacency, saying that their tickets to Ghana are not guaranteed.”There is still a lot of room for improvement among many of these players.All they need to do is work hard and prove that they are serious.We don’t want players who are not geared for winning matches.They should believe in themselves and should realise that being in this tournament is important for themselves and the country,” said the Zambian-born coach.He said at this stage, the players in the side know what is expected from them.”They understand what this is all about and they know what kind of opposition they would face.The one thing is that they should never think that the opposition is always stronger than them despite being big forces in football.They should just go out there and take them on,” he added.Bamfuchile said Namibia declined an offer to play against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, who lost 1-0 to the United States at the weekend.”They want solace and we are not prepared to play a losing team,” he said.Instead of choosing African opposition for their Afcon preparations, South Africa have chosen to play countries such as Italy, USA and Canada.Namibia might possibly squeeze in a match against Zambia, but that still needs to be confirmed.The Warriors will now take a break until December 7, before they leave for the training camp in Germany on December 9.The training camp ends on December 23, giving them a Christmas break until December 26.The team gets back to training on December 27, before the tie against Egypt on January 5.Six days later, Namibia will meet Senegal in an away match in Dakar before moving to Accra on January 14.

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