Mannetti reprimands Katjiukua as Stephanus withdraws and Malawi comes to town
Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti has spelled out the ground rules following another breach of team’s protocol by defender Chris Katjiukua over the weekend while Willy Stephanus goes to Vietnam for trials.
The Golden Arrows defender Katjiukua, who was suspended for the 2017 AFCON Qualifier match against Niger which the Brave Warriors won 1-0 on Saturday and thus was given special leave from camp from Tuesday and was expected to report back on Friday but only resurfaced on Monday.
“I allowed him to attend to some personal matters but he failed to report for camp on Friday and only came on Monday morning. To me this is again very unacceptable since no reasons where given for the extension of this stay-away and this not good for team morale. I need my senior players to lead by example and for all players to respect team protocol. Players need to show respect to the nation at all times”, Mannetti laments.
Winger Willy Stephanus has requested to be released from camp to attend trials in Vietnam, reminiscent of his antics during this time last year. In June 2015, Stephanus was part of the Warriors CHAN team and featured in the first leg against Zambia only to disappear for the second leg.
“He informed the technical team and we agreed to release him as we cannot have players who are not 100 percent committed to the team mentally. We have to work with players we have and who are ready to play. Between now and 25 June, we do not need any distractions or ill-discipline in this team” states Mannetti.
The team is now focusing on preparations for Cosafa Cup defense and will host Malawi on Wednesday night in a friendly match, 19h30 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, with tickets selling at Football House and Computicket outlets for N$ 30 each.
“It will be a practice match for us and we need to give chances to the guys that did not feature on Saturday. We need to test them and see how best to use all the players and playing Malawi is a great test as Malawi is a very tricky team. I saw them lose to Zimbabwe on Sunday in the AFCON Qualifiers but they showed character and have a good team that can give us a real test on Wednesday”, Mannetti states.
The NFA states that the match on Wednesday will be a special treat to the Brave Warriors fans who always rally behind the team despite results hard to come by and to instill belief in the team ahead of their Cosafa cup defense, starting off with quarterfinal clash against Botswana on 18 June at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. After Wednesday, the team will travel to Lusaka to take on Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium on Sunday, 12 June.