Former Namibia women’s team captain Uerikondjera Kasaona has been appointed to lead the side at this year’s COSAFA Women’s Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, with a strong technical team appointed around her.
Kasaona will be able to lean on the vast experience of former interim coach Brian Isaacs, who has been named as a technical advisor to the team. Also helping Kasaona will be stalwart former men’s international Robert Nauseb, who gained vast experience as a player, including in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League.
“I am well prepared because getting this opportunity to coach a tournament of such magnitude has always been a dream,” Kasaona said. “As a former player, I know what is expected of me and am confident I will be able to not only coach, but also [give] advice accordingly.”
Kasaona has worked with many of the current Namibia squad before in her role as national Under-20 and Under-23 coach, so there will be strong continuity within the group.
Most of the players come from the domestic competition, the NFA Skorpion Zinc Women Super League.
Kasaona has already chosen Zenatha Coleman has her captain, and Ndapewa Katuta as vice-captain, in a provisional squad named last week. Namibia have been drawn in Group B at the 12-team competition, along with Zambia, Mauritius and Botswana, and will open their campaign against the latter on August 1.
Only the top team in each pool advances to the semifinals, along with the best third-place side. The finals will run from July 31 to August 11 and will see South Africa defend their title.
Namibia have four previous appearances at the COSAFA Women’s Championships when they turned out in 2006, 2008, 2017 and 2018, and have largely excelled in the regional showpiece competition.
The Brave Gladiators have always been tough competitors in the past and the same will be expected when they feature in South Africa again in 2019. In their first showing in 2006 they claimed an excellent 2-2 draw with Zambia and then thumped Eswatini 6-0 in the pool stages, enough to see them into the semifinals as runners-up in their group.
They gained revenge over Zambia with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory after a 1-1 draw, but lost in the final to South Africa when they went down 3-1. They reached the semifinals again two years later, but this time were ousted at that stage by South Africa, ironically by the same scoreline.
They had less success in 2017, beating Botswana 4-0 in their opener, but then losing 2-1 to Lesotho and once again suffering a 3-1 loss to South Africa to finish bottom of their pool.
Last year they beat Eswatini 4-1, but a defeat to Zimbabwe (0-1) a draw with East African guest nation Uganda (0-1) meant they did not progress to the knockout stages.
Namibia training squad:
Lydia Eixas, Melissa Matheus, Agnes Kauzuu, Rejoice Tjituere, Ndapewa Katuta, Selma Enkali, Lorraine Jossop, Lydiana Nanamus, Veronica Van Wyk, Emma Naris, Lovisa Mulunga, Veweziwa Kotjipati, Kamunikire Tjituka, Ivone Kooper, Twelikondjele Amukoto, Tomalina Adams, Milicent Hikuam, Zenatha Coleman, Juliana Blou, Elmarie Fredericks, Anoushcka Kordom, Asteria Angula, Eva Uulumbu, Meltret Ujamba, Lydia Ligamena Naluno, Anna-Marie Shikusho, Beverly Uueziua, Memory Ngonda, Fiola Vliete and Kylie Van Wyk.