Namibian players ask for support

Date published: July 3 2015

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The Namibian national team has released a statement asking for support despite the off-field problems affecting the team.

Coach Danie Vermeulen resigned earlier this week, being replaced by Phil Davies, while on the field Namibia have struggled in their World Cup preparation so far.

However the players have asked for the fans to stand by the team, who are preparing for a fifth consecutive World Cup.

The statement read: "Talk about rugby in Namibia is currently dominated by internal controversy amongst coaching and administrative staff. The players are not involved and not siding with the opinions of any of the individuals. 

"As players we’d like to focus on the day-to-day realities of in fact playing rugby at a national level in Namibia today. We are amongst the World Cup qualifiers with the least resources, including direct income and sponsorships. Most of our squad are working men with responsibilities for jobs and families. Despite these challenges we have qualified for our fifth consecutive World Cup.

"For our squad, rugby is our passion and playing for our country, a life-long dream. This is a dream that takes a lot in dedication, discomfort and hard work. We will not lose perspective in the heat of all the drama we now read about and that is playing out at a different level, in committee rooms.

"This squad is dedicated to the vision for rugby we committed ourselves to. Local players train daily in the early morning, in the cold hours before work, and late into the evenings after work. They commit weekend after weekend, and often have to take weeks of unpaid leave to travel. Professional players are willing to return to represent our country. 

"There are hard sacrifices at work and on a personal level for every player in the squad.

"This is what is right Namibian rugby: hard work, sacrifice, dedication and commitment. 

"We believe that’s why now, like always, Namibian rugby supporters will back our players, regardless of their sentiments on the issues in this controversy. 

"While at administrative level, we are unmistakably going through a tough time, let’s remember the final countdown to the World Cup is on NOW and effectively we have hardly more than two months left to prepare. Now is the time for Namibian rugby enthusiasts to come out in full support of our players.

"Please be there for our squad, we as players are putting our hearts in the BIG games coming up, including one against New Zealand, the most formidable current opponent in world rugby. 

"At the World Cup we will be playing for Namibia, our country and all of its people."

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