Gaobinelwe fears Young Gladiators
THE coach of Botswana’s Women U-20 football team, Jacqueline Gaobinelwe is not ruling out Namibia’s U-20 women team’s chances in the second leg of the FIFA U-20 Africa World Cup qualifiers, despite her side having thumped Namibia 7-0 in the first leg at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on 19 January. The second leg will take place on Friday in Botswana. Botswana’s U-20 women’s side outclassed the Namibian side that was lacking fitness levels before the match due to lack of interest from the Namibia Football Association (NFA)’s top leadership, that failed to avail funds for the Young Gladiators to play friendly matches before the first leg, despite having received news about the qualifiers in December. Namibia will go to Botswana to overturn the deficit, which is unlikely, but a good performance is expected from Namibian coach Mammie Kasaona, who only started training the team fewer than five days before the first leg and already had six days of training ahead of the second leg tie. Speaking to Confidente Sport Desk from Gaborone, Botswana while conducting a training session ahead of the match, Gaobinelwe said Namibia could still pose a big threat although she remains confident that her side is mentally and physically fit. The entire Botswana side in the qualifiers plays in the regional league, a league below the senior football league called the Boteti Regional Football Association, that was funded to the tune of N$735 000 last year from Debwana through the Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) and its business partners KANU Equipment for a period of three years. “I cannot say that (the tie is over) because football is football. We knew that we were going to play a very good Namibian team in the first leg. I tell my girls every day that whenever we go into a competition, we have to work very hard and that is exactly what they did in the first leg away. These players play in the regional league.