SKW’s newly signed striker Alfred Ndyenge has been called up to the national squad for the first time, while Tangeni Shipahu, has been recalled, in preparation for Namibia’s opening 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifying match against Gambia on September 4.
National coach Tom Saintfiet announced a 29-man squad which will go into camp on Sunday, August 22 ahead of the match which will take place in the Gambian capital Banjul on the weekend of September 3 - 5.
The squad is mostly made up of players that Saintfiet has consistently selected for Namibia over the past two years. The squad will be trimmed down to 18 players before their departure to Gambia, while Namibia’s foreign based professionals will join up with the squad three days before the encounter.
Making the announcement at Soccer House on Wednesday, Saintfiet said that Gambia would be a tough opponent, but that they were aiming for a good result.
“It will be a difficult task but we never go to a game to lose and we will try our best to get a good result. We are looking for at least a point, but you never know, we may even try to win also,” he said.
Gambia has been one of Africa’s most successful nations at junior level over the past few years, having qualified for both the 2005 FIFA Under 17 World Championships and the 2007 Under 20 FIFA World Championships.
During the 2010 AFCON qualifiers they beat Algeria and drew with Senegal, and eventually finished one point behind the group winners, Algeria.
Gambia is currently ranked 103 in the world while Namibia is tanked at 115.
According to Saintfiet a lot of their players are playing professionally abroad in mostly Scandinavian countries.
“These countries are in the middle of their leagues with the result that these players will be top fit... On the other hand, I am not happy that we could not play a friendly match this month and Im concerned about the fitness levels of our players. But I know that we have quality players who can surprise Africa,” he said.
Saintfiet said he had built up his squad over the past two years and the players were tactically disciplined and knew his system well.
“We have brought Alfred Ndyenge into the squad, because he has performed well, but most of the players have been in the squad for a long time. We have been preparing for this moment for two years, so we cant change the team for each match,” he said.
The Brave Warriors squad is as follows:
Athiel Mbaha, Virgil Vries, Max Mbaeva.
Hartman Toromba, Richard Gariseb, Steven Goagab, George Hummel, Ralph Ellinger, Michael Pienaar, Oliver Risser, Jam Ngatjizeko, Nelson Geingob, Gotlieb Nakuta.
Ninja Karongee, Collin Benjamin, Quinton Jacobs, Razundara Tjikuzu, Tangeni Shipahu, Rudolf Bester, Sydney Plaatjies, Paulus Shipanga, Heini Isaacks, Rudi Louw, Edward Asino, Eslin Kamuhanga.
Henrico Botes, Wilko Risser, Roger Katjiteo, Alfred Ndyenge.