THE Young Warriors will depart for Mauritania on Saturday to participate in the 2021 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations for their maiden appearance at the tournament.
Coach James Britz stated that the team will go there to compete for the championship that starts on 14 February and will continue until 4 March.
“We have a good team and making our first appearance as a country the boys will surely plan to impress and leave a mark on the continent. We face two other debutants in Tunisia and CAR and so it will be equal footing. We will go early to make sure we acclimatize well and see if we can get in a friendly or two before the finals start,” the coach said.
Namibia will compete in Group B with Tunisia, Central Africa Republic (CAR), and Burkina Faso.
“We have not faced any of these teams before and that will make it interesting. We will plan accordingly for each of the opposing teams and with determination anything is possible,” Britz said.
The Young Warriors will begin their campaign against the team of the Central African Republic, before facing Tunisia in their second game and will conclude the group stage with a match against Burkina Faso.
The host nation, Mauritania is in Group A with Cameroon, Uganda, and Mozambique while Group C is made up of Ghana, Tanzania, Gambia, and Morocco.
This will be the first edition of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations where the championship has been expanded to accommodate 12 teams instead of eight.
The top four teams of the tournament normally would have qualified automatically for the U-20 FIFA World Cup 2021 in Indonesia as the CAF representatives, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA decided to cancel the tournament that was supposed to kick off on 24 December 2020.