WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namibia have handed a maiden call-up to Blackburn Rovers defender Ryan Nyambe and recalled Manfred Starke from Germany after an absence of six years as they finalised their 23-man squad for the African Cup of Nations.
Coach Ricardo Mannetti decided on his final squad after the weekend win over Ghana in a warm-up friendly in Dubai.
Nyambe, born in Katima Mulilo but who moved to England aged nine, won his first cap in the 1-0 victory over the Black Stars.
Starke is from Namibia’s small German community and moved to Germany 15 years ago after being offered trials at third-tier side Hansa Rostock.
He won three caps between 2012-13 but when Mannetti called him for his first game in charge after taking over as coach, Starke did not come and rejected several call ups thereafter.
But Mannetti said they had since been in contact and sorted out the issues, which he did not want to elaborate on.
Namibia are making their third appearance at the finals and will compete in Group D with the Ivory Coast, Morocco and neighbours South Africa.
Goalkeepers: Loydt Kazapua (Maccabi FC), Max Mbaeva (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Ratanda Mbazuvara (African Stars)
Defenders: Charles Hambira (Tura Magic), Riaan Hanamub (Jomo Cosmos), Denzil Haoseb (Highlands Park), Larry Horaeb (Baroka FC), Ivan Kamberipa (African Stars), Ryan Nyambe (Blackburn Rovers)
Midfielders: Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa), Ananias Gebhardt (Tura Magic), Deon Hotto (Bidvest Wits), Absalom Iimbondi (Tigers FC), Joslyn Kamatuka (Cape Umoya United), Ronald Ketjijere, Marcel Papama (both African Stars), Willy Stephanus, Petrus Shitembi (both Lusaka Dynamos)
Strikers: Isaskar Gurirab (Life Fighters), Itamunua Keimuine (Dire Dawa City), Peter Shalulile (Highlands Park), Benson Shilongo (Ismaili), Manfred Starke (Carl Zeiss Jena).
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)