Mannetti impressed with the first group of Brave Warriors
Windhoek – Brave Warriors Coach Ricardo Mannetti is satisfied with the fitness level of players who attended a training camp last week.
It was the first of four groups of players to undergo assessment in view of selecting the best senior national team for forthcoming international competitions.
“The players kept themselves fit by playing social football in the absence of the league, and this has helped them remain physically and technically fit,” Mannetti told Nampa on enquiry Monday.
Only one player out of 23 players did not show up for the camp.
“Because of the non-activity of players, we have to build up their fitness levels hence we (technical team) combined both fitness and tactics because we are behind,” he explained.
The Namibia Premier League has been inactive since August last year when the management failed to secure an additional sponsor for the 2016/17 league. It will now commence on 12 May 2017 and end in November after Government intervened.
Namibia is scheduled to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Confederation of Southern African Football Associations tournament and the Africa Nations championship qualifiers from June onwards.
Mannetti said he was surprised by media reports saying team managements are failing to locate their players for pre-season training.
He said players want to play and they are ready to play.
“Training starts at 08h30 but players are already at the field by 07h00, which to me shows a hunger for football,” said the coach.
Asked if he would use foreign-based players who are match fit compared to local players who are inactive, Mannetti said he expects his players to have character and be mentally strong, hence he will stick to his philosophy and select players who he thinks will do the job for Namibia.
“I will not change my approach because of reasons I cannot control. I am not going to chop and change players, because that will be inconsistent with what I believe in,” he added.
The coach further said that if the league does not start for any reason, they might take national team players to South Africa to play friendly matches with club sides there as a way of giving players enough game-time.