Ohangwena and Kavango East optimistic about Skorpion Zinc Cup
WINDHOEK – Preparations for the Skorpion Zinc U/17 Cup are underway in Ohangwena region, where they are said to be ready to turn tables and take the tournament by storm from 8 to 10 September in Windhoek.
The Skorpion Zinc Under-17 Cup has been confirmed for at the Sam Nujoma Stadium and the NFA Tehcianl Centre and Ohangwena Region’s under 17 coach Kanyehu Lennox said they have selected a team of 25 players that it is yet to be trimmed down.
To ready the boys for the tournament, the Ohangwena and Oshana region will be hosting a two day tournament at the independence stadium in Oshakati, from the 30-31 of August, where regions such as Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Oshana are expected to battle it out, so as to expose the boys to something similar to the actual tournament, and get their mental and physical fitness in shape.
Kanyehu said although football wise, Ohangwena has not been the best during the previous years, they were well on the way of improving but the absence of the Skorpion Zinc cup last year, put them aback.
“If players going back next year can play more games after this Skorpion Zinc cup, Ohangwena region can really improve and perform extra ordinarily in other competitions to come,” Kanyehu says.
Kanyehu recognises the threat posed by other regions, but is confident his region will see them through, to emerge victorious. He has been the team’s coach since the cup’s inauguration in 2013, but left for two years, only to return again this year.
Ohangwena is part of group B, where they will play against Oshikoto, Kavango East, Khomas and Erongo region. Winners for each group spontaneously qualify for the semi-finals, whereas the runner ups of group A and B will face each other, with the winner advancing to the semi-finals.
“Our region has no youth league, and this disadvantages our players because they are not exposed to high competitions”.
He nevertheless remains optimistic about winning the cup and putting Ohangwena on the map.
“The boys and I are looking forward to the competition and with the current situation in our country regarding sports, I can only hope for great things for youth football in our country” Kanyehu concludes.
Meanwhile, Kavango East has selected the best players to represent their region during the championship.
The manager of Kavango East’s under-17 team Alfeus Shipanga, states they have upped their game and are working towards taking the cup home. In preparation, they have played friendly games with teams such as Kalimba Academy, whom they beat 1-0, after a goal from Hoeseb Khomtatite.
Due to exams, the teams will only be holding friendlies during weekends and are looking forward to taking on bigger teams such as Rundu Chiefs and Julinho Sporting F.C.
Shipanga reveals that even though he has confidence in the competency of his team, he accepts that Group B opponents Khomas and Erongo pose a threat to his region, mainly due to experience and exposure.
“Khomas and Erongo have under 17 leagues, which our region unfortunately does not have. This is a great challenge, but we are preparing and will be ready for them “Shipanga says.
Khomas were the inaugural edition winners of the cup in 2013, after beating Erongo region 2-1 in the finals. This makes both teams forces to be reckoned with.
Players to look out in the Kavango East team are Hoeseb Khomtatite, Shamwaka Johannes as well as goalkeeper Muronga John, who can be expected to perform well during the championships.
“We are ready to come compete and conquer. We want to take the cup back home,” a resolute Shipanga declares.
Group B winner will face the best runner up from Group A and B.
In Group C, Hardap, Oshana, Kavango West and Hardap will battle for a semi-final date with group A winners. Omusati, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Kunene and Karas are in Group A. – NFA