AFCON 2023: Collin Benjamin Expects Namibia to Return Stronger if Nation Can Build on Success

AFCON 2023: Collin Benjamin Expects Namibia to Return Stronger if Nation Can Build on Success

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at January 30, 2024 at 7:16 AM
In this article:
Namibia logo
Peter Shalulile logo
Mamelodi Sundowns logoFNamibia logo
Deon Hotto logo
D. Hotto
Orlando Pirates logoFNamibia logo
  • Collin Benjamin oversaw Namibia's most successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign
  • The Brave Warriors first appeared in 1998 and registered their first win this year
  • Benjamin hopes Namibia's performance can be a springboard to repeated success

Namibia's 2023 Brave Warriors returned home with something no other team had done before them.

They will go down as the first set of players from their nation to win a match at the Africa Cup of Nations as well as qualify for the knockout round of the competition.

Their 1-0 win over Tunisia was their high point, along with a goalless draw with Mali, sandwiched between 4-0 and 3-0 losses to neighbours South Africa and Angola, respectively.

Collin Benjamin, Namibia, Brave Warriors, Deon Hotto, AFCON 2023.
Collin Benjamin guided Namibia to their most successful AFCON finish and Deon Hotto earned them their first AFCON win. Photo: @RFI and @Dangerousgroun2.
Source: Twitter

Collin Benjamin is proud to have been a part of this journey, stating that Namibians could look back at the moment as being one that propelled them forward on the international stage.

The former Bundesliga player came into the tournament with realistic expectations and may rue the nature of their defeats, especially the one to Angola where they failed to capitalise on their opponents being down to 10 men. He told SABC Sport:

"We have to take these things step by step. It's normal but it's a lesson that we have to learn that just gives us the opportunity to say, we have to go back and we have to start working again."

Namibia will do well to build on this AFCON to ensure a fresh batch of talent to replace 30-year-old Peter Shalulile and 33-year-old Deon Hotto in the years to come.

The shining light for the future is Prins Tjiueza who has just been signed by Cape Town City, two months short of his 22nd birthday, as per TransferMarkt.

Benjamin, Tjiueza, Shalulile, Hotto's next shot at history is the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. Their group rivals include Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea, while also being drawn against Liberia, Malawi and Sao Tome.

Explore the Debmarine Namibia Premiership

Sports Brief recently compiled an explainer on the current status of Namibia's top domestic league.

Half of the 16 teams in the league come from Windhoek, with the remainder scattered throughout the country.

Fallen giants Black Africa are currently in administrative turmoil following the death of their chairman in 2021.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.