Windhoek – Namibia’s national women’s team, the Brave Gladiators, have been working hard ahead of their first match in nearly two years.
The Brave Gladiators last kicked a ball at the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Cup in South Africa. They finally get back on the pitch against Angola in two friendly matches on April 7 and 10 in Windhoek. The friendlies are a build-up towards the COSAFA and AFCON Women’s 2021 qualifiers scheduled for later this year.
Coach Robert Nauseb believes his Brave Gladiators have been improving in leaps and bounds since the squad entered camp on March 16.
Nauseb said the first week was mainly about conditioning, and it took a while to get the players into the groove of high intensity training but things were starting to look up. Further, the Namibia Football Association’s Bounce Back Cup for clubs, he said, had helped players stay in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It gave us guidance on what needs to be worked on and luckily most of them were active throughout the Cup so we didn’t have fitness as a major issue. Yes, the cup was good for the players, but it cannot be compared to international matches which is why we plan on having more friendlies,” he said.
Nauseb said he wanted to get his players accustomed to playing under pressure, hence the decision to host the Angola friendlies just three days apart.
Captain Zenatha Colema, who plays for Sevilla in Spain, said she was happy to see new faces in the national team set-up.
“Welcome to the national team. It starts with a dream then hard work. I can recall on my first national team call up I cried after every training because I was just 11 and trainings were so hard. Keep pushing and never give up. All the best Brave Gladiators,” she said.