2022 World Cup: Namibia allow Nyambe and Starke to miss Eritrea qualifiers
Namibia have agreed to leave out their two Europe-based players from their squad for the upcoming two-legged World Cup qualifiers against Eritrea to allow them more time to try and force a first-team place at their respective clubs.
Ryan Nyambe of Blackburn Rovers and Manfred Starke, who recently moved to Kaiserslautern, asked to be allowed to stay behind at their clubs during the international break as they battle for regular game-time at the start of the season.
Both played for Namibia at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt in June.
This season, 21-year-old Nyambe has started two League Cup games, including Blackburn's 2-1 loss at Sheffield United on Tuesday - but in the Championship he has had just nine minutes of action as a late substitute.
Starke moved to former Bundesliga champions Kaiserslautern, now languishing in the third tier of German football, from Carl Zeiss Jena and is keen to consolidate his place in his new team.
"We agreed that for now, they fight for places at their respective clubs, and later on we consider them," Namibia's caretaker coach Bobby Samaria said.
Samaria replaced Ricardo Mannetti after the tournament in Egypt and culled six players from the squad while recalling three who missed out: Chris Katjiukua from Black Leopards in South Africa, Zambia-based Teberius Lombard and former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries who is currently without a club.
"It was not easy to select this team. We have players missing with injuries and some on trial across the world," Samaria told his association's website.
"Petrus Shitembi is in Germany and Denzil Haoseb in Morocco for trials and hence unavailable for the game. But Namibia is blessed with talent and now the players in have to step up and deliver."
Namibia's squad departed on Sunday for Asmara, where they will play the first leg of the preliminary round tie on Wednesday.
The return leg is at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Tuesday, 10 September.
Goalkeepers: Loydt Kazapua (Baroka FC, South Africa), Ratanda Mbazuvara (African Stars), Virgil Vries (unattached)
Defenders: Larry Horaeb (Tura Magic), Ivan Kamberipa (African Stars), Chris Katjiukua (Black Leopards, South Africa), Teberius Lombard (Zanaco, Zambia), Vitapi Ngaruka (Black Africa), Aprocious Petrus (Eleven Arrows)
Midfielders: Obrey Amseb (African Stars), Gregory Aukumeb (Blue Waters), Dynamo Fredericks, Immanuel Heita (both Black Africa), Deon Hotto (Bidvest Wits, South Africa), Joslyn Kamatuka (Cape Umoya United, South Africa), Marcel Papama (African Stars), Llewelyn Stanley (Tigers FC), Willy Stephanus (Lusaka Dynamos)
Strikers: Elmo Kambindu (Mighty Gunners), Wendell Rudath (Black Africa), Peter Shalulile (Highlands Park, South Africa), Benson Shilongo (Ismaili, Egypt), Hendrik Somaeb (unattached).