‘Expect fast and intense football’

Benjamin roped in for five years
Collin Benjamin, the newly appointed coach of the Brave Warriors, insists that Namibians wearing the national team jersey will have to earn it by giving their all in training and on the pitch.
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
Brave Warriors coach Collin Benjamin’s philosophy is to have a team that runs, press and play fast football.

“I want them to play until there is nothing left of them when it comes to the end of the match.

“I want the players to play hard and fast football and I also want them to work hard on the training ground,” Benjamin said.

The new coach also said he will not compromise on hard work over talent.

The coach believes that a player who works hard is important, especially when talented teammates do not contribute.

Having played in Germany for most of his career, Benjamin’s wishes are similar to those of great German football minds like Jurgen Klopp and Ralph Rangnick.

Benjamin, who holds an A coaching licence, was appointed yesterday, following a vetting from the Normalisation Committee - a process which they inherited from the previous regime.

The Namibian beat Zambian national team coach Wedson Nyirenda, and other Namibians who were amongst those shortlisted for the job. He replaces interim coach Bobby Samaria.

Namibian first

Fifa normalisation committee chairperson Bisey Uirab said the committee has full confidence in Benjamin’s appointment.

“We have read through reports that were well written and detailed and a recommendation was made in terms of preference.

“In that recommendation, there was a preference that a candidate outside of Namibia was the preferred candidate.

“After going through the report, we felt comfortable that the process was transparent and we decided that the candidate that was second in line was a true Namibian and patriot, who has made deep footprints in Namibian football.

“We are therefore comfortable in appointing him on a long-term basis, because we want to see stability in a game of football,” Uirab said.

He further reassured the public that the new coach will be protected by a contract that will ensure he completes the term, even if a new executive is elected.

Illustrious

Benjamin earned 32 international caps and captained the Brave Warriors for several years, representing the team at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

He played for German Bundesliga sides Hamburg and TSV 1860 München, where he became one of the few Namibians to play in the UEFA Champions League.

The 43-year-old hung up his boots at TSV 1860 München at the end of the 2011/12 season, before returning in 2013 to join the club’s youth academy coaching internship programme.

During the 2013/14 season, Benjamin took charge of the club’s under-13 team and was promoted to be one of the TSV 1860 München assistant coaches during the 2014/15 season.

The player however returned to Namibia with the aim of improving the game of football in his mother country.

Let’s begin

His immediate assignment begins with the Cosafa tournament.

The coach will also oversee the selection of his own technical team, who will be paid on an ad-hoc basis.

It is not clear whom Benjamin will select as assistant coaches, but the feeling is that he could be leaning towards his trusted former teammates.

“I will not be able to say anything in terms of who will be part of the technical team, but I promise an open door policy.

“This is a team for all Namibians, and I am open to listen to all of you,” he said.

Cosafa Cup draw done

Namibia have been pitted against Madagascar in this year’s Cosafa Cup quarterfinals taking place between 5 and 17 July in South Africa.

Meanwhile, countries like Angola, Comoros, Seychelles, and Botswana will open the campaign in Group A, while Lesotho, Malawi and Mauritius will battle in Group B. Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar and guest team Senegal all automatically qualified to the quarterfinal stages due to their final standings at the previous competition.