Futsal Team ready

The players to represent Namibia at its debut at the eight edition of the African showpiece have been announced.
Jesse Kauraisa
The final preparations for Namibia’s national men’s Futsal team have gone well so far, coach Ryan Jago told the media yesterday at the announcement of the team and delegation set to travel to Morocco for the nation’s debut at the 2024 Futsal Africa Cup of Nations.

“We have had a great training camp and I must say the players look mentally and physically fit for the occasion. The squad has been trimmed from 20 to the final fourteen.

“I must also commend the fitness coach for the job he has done on the players.

“We have selected top players and we hope that we could also eventually qualify for the Futsal World Cup if we progress well in Morocco,” said Jago, whose name does not appear on the list of travellers despite input into the squad’s recent preparations at their Windhoek Showgrounds base.

The Brave Fives qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations after beating Tanzania in a two-legged qualifying round.

The Namibians lost their first-ever Futsal international against Tanzania 5-2 in Windhoek, before beating Tanzania 6-3 in Dar Es Salaam, booking their place on the away-goal differential.

At the squad announcement yesterday, team captain Cee-Jay van Wyk expressed optimism ahead of the big tournament.

“We are more than ready for the competition and our players have been doing well.

“There is a mutual understanding of what we want to achieve and we are therefore confident.

“We are urging the Namibian nation to stand behind us,” Van Wyk said.

The team will play two friendly matches against professional teams in Morocco before kicking off the competition which starts on 11 April.

Namibia has been drawn in Group B along with Egypt (three-time continental champions in 1996, 2000 and 2004), Libya (2008 title holders) and fellow debutants Mauritania.

Travelling members

Goalkeepers: Riyenena Usurua, Cee-Jay van Wyk.

Defenders: Donald Modise, Nanguei Kamatuka, Shaquille Drotsky

Pivots: Kagiso Dausab, Reginald Willemse, Rowen Jager, George Haikali.

Forwards: Silas Matheus, Bornface Siyanga, Ken Salote, Luis Solunga, Remario Mathys.

According to the list provided to the media, the players will be accompanied by Donawald Modise (coach), Tiro Thlabanello, Absai Simon, Emmy-Pirkko Ipumbu, Jeremy Strong (doctor), David David, Samuel Ashikoto, Andrei Tirtirau (founder of Futsal Namibia), Auryl Rusberg, Rudolf Mupiri (NFA, head of delegation).