Head coach of Namibia Ricardo Mannetti says they will head to the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt as underdogs, and are going to North Africa to enjoy themselves and make Namibia proud.
The Brave Warriors mentor was speaking after the draw of the upcoming competition, where they have been placed in Group D alongside South Africa, Ivory Coast and Morocco – all three former winners of the competition.
“Perfect draw for the underdogs. They will not focus on us but on themselves and this is exactly where I want to be,” Mannetti states.
Namibia will be making their third appearance in the tournament.
Mannetti says they will soon start with preparations for the 2019 AFCON, which runs from 17 June to 19 July.
“We will start our preparations from the 26th of May in one of the neighbouring countries of Egypt. We need to make sure we prepare under the same conditions as it will be very hot in Egypt,” says Mannetti.
He adds that they have nothing to lose and will go about their business in the best possible way to make Namibia proud.
The Brave Warriors will be based in Cairo and open Group D with a date against Morocco on June 23 before taking on South Africa on June 28, both at Al Salam Stadium. They will play the final group game against Ivory Coast on 1 July at Cairo International Stadium.
“Also, we will need to be around other countries so that we can easily play friendlies with other countries with minimal travelling and so our camp destination, to be confirmed soon will be very close to Egypt,” added Mannetti.
The coach insists that their goal is to win a first Afcon finals game.
“We will try to win a game and see how it goes. It will be sufficient for us and anything can happen at these finals.”