Brave Warriors coach Collin Benjamin says the Brave Warriors are delighted, relieved, and emotional following their qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for Ivory Coast in January 2024.
Speaking to New Era Sport, Benjamin said the qualification was huge for everyone, and they are still soaking it in.
“We are happy that everyone can do it—the players, the technical team, the Normalisation Committee and the government. It was definitely not easy; it’s a great achievement, so we must be proud of this achievement,” Benjamin said.
He said going forward, hard work should start now, meaning players must be responsible, show a good attitude, be great athletes, and be the best version of themselves.
He said that as a nation, we need to sit down together and identify what we want to achieve following this qualification.
“It is very important for us as a nation (stakeholders, sponsors, NC, players, technical team, and fans) to come on board and say what it is that we want to achieve. If we get to that answer of what it is that we want to achieve, the commitment has to be as such,” he explained.
The Brave Warriors coach said the team will need proper preparations in the form of friendly matches with teams that are similar to those that Namibia is likely to be drawn with in the groups, similar weather conditions, and proper motivation for the players (since they have done their part).
He said now is the time for stakeholders to come and say, ‘Players, you have done your part; here is a thank you; go to Ivory Coast and do your best’.
Benjamin said he does not know how motivational this qualification is for Namibian players who want to be part of the team at Afcon 2023.
“The door is open. Any player should be able to tell you how motivating this qualification is to them. The platform is there for them to impress. There
are those who did the job of qualifying; they will want to be part of Afcon,
and then there are those who want to get in their places. That is motivation in itself,” Benjamin explained. He emphasised that this is the best chance for every Namibian football player who wants to be part of the 2023 Afcon tournament by bringing their best version.
The Brave Warriors coach said for Namibia to get something out of this tournament, the country has to put up the whole package (preparations, motivation, support, etc.).
Meanwhile, the draw for the 2023 Afcon tournament will take place next month, and according to the current Fifa rankings, Namibia will be placed in Pot 4 alongside Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, The Gambia, and Tanzania.
Pot 1 has hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, defending champions Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, while Pot 2 features Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa.
Pot 3 consists of DR Congo, Cape Verde, Guinea, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, and Mauritania. email@example.com