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Well done warriors - President
...Cabinet gives each player N$50 000

By Staff Reporter
Ricardo Mannetti might have successfully coached the Brave Warriors to a stunning victory at the just ended 2015 Council of Southern Africa Football Association, COSAFA, but it was his run onto the pitch that got Namibians hooked to their television sets throughout the country as the Brave Warriors celebrated their 2-0 victor against Mozambique.

When President Hage Geingob hosted lunch at State House for the Brave Warriors on Wednesday, he had everybody laughing when he too skillfully imitated the Brave Warriors' coach. "The Brave Warriors have never stopped fighting and the nation has never stopped believing," said President Geingob. "We have followed our brave footballers as they have progressed during the 2015 COSAFA cup.

"With each match, the expectations increased until the moment of those climatic scenes at the Moruleng Stadium on 30 May 2015 when victory was made possible. Congratulations for your hard work and fighting spirit. It has paid off.

"This is only the beginning though. With success come great expectations. You have excelled and set a national footballing benchmark by bringing back that glittering COSAFA trophy. "As I have said, we should banish the days when we were happy to just participate in tournaments. We have to compete to win and you have proven to us that this is possible."

The President warned the players not to let their successes go to their heads to avoid making mistakes of years gone by. In 1998, the Brave Warriors were lauded when they displayed their football skills as they played against Ivory Coast.

But instead of building on their success, the coaches, trainers and players believed that they had arrived and could compete with the big boys. They shifted their focus on salaries, importance and popularity. "Basketball coach Rick Pitino has summed up what I am talking about best when he said and I quote: 'Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times.'

"They often embrace and over indulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success." The President urged the Brave Warriors to put on cloaks of humility and remain focus and hungry for even greater successes in future. The team would soon be in training to prepare for a trip to face a strong Niger team. He wished them success.

"We want to qualify for the African Cup of Nations, AFCON," said President Geingob. "It has been done twice, in Burkina Faso in 1998 and Ghana in 2008 where I attended both tournaments. "The team we sent to these tournaments did not disappoint, but this time we should ensure qualification so that we can compete to win the biggest prize in the African Cup of Nations, AFCON."

President Geingob urged the Brave Warriors to aim high and beyond AFCON, saying that they should also set their eyes on the World Cup to leave their mark on the biggest sporting showcase in the world. "There we can participate since I will be patient. However, please feel free to shock me like never before by winning the World Cup," he said.

Throughout his speech, the President's message was on teamwork. The players should learn how to adapt to, and accept each other so that they could work together as a team. He said learning how to be a true friend and how to accept others were powerful people skills that would take them far in life. Players should spend time developing relationships with teammates and coach.

"Once these relationships are developed, selfishness will disappear. Look at the situation at Barcelona with Messi and Neymar. Before Neymar used to try and go solo to score and get the glory for himself," said the President. "I used to be irritated with him and never rated him highly but now he looks for the open man and passes to Messi or Suarez. Messi is also looking for the open player these days. That is teamwork. And the Brave Warriors should play like that.

"The victory you have achieved at COSAFA is inspirational to all Namibians, young and old. It symbolizes the fighting spirit of the Namibian people and is a motivational to anyone who has doubted or thought that they did not measure up or wanted to quit. "Government has given the Brave Warriors N$50 000 for the job well done. Sports House has also given each player N$25 000, bring the total to N$75 000, 00 each.

"Team sports like football have an important role to play in society, besides entertaining us and sending us on a roller coaster ride of emotions. You have taught us never ever give up," said the President. For more stories and photos, turn to page 15 and 16.


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