“We have provided them with a platform for their own performance analysis. The players are receiving video clips that they need to watch. We are also discussing challenges with the guys.”
THE 21-day national lockdown imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on South Africa isn’t a holiday for footballers despite the PSL being suspended indefinitely. Instead, it is business as usual – in a way.
Clubs have given players programmes to follow during the lockdown that started on Thursday and will end on April 16.
The President instructed South Africans to stay at home for 21 days in an attempt to flatten the curve of the coronavirus that has already claimed a life and infected over 1 000 people in the country.
This virus has had a terrible effect on sport, leading to the cancellation, suspension and postponement of numerous leagues and sporting events. The key phrase has been ‘social distancing’, which goes against training as there is plenty of contact in an attempt to keep fit. But if social distancing was hard for footballers, the lockdown will even be tougher, which is where technology comes into play.
“Currently, we are working online with the players individually,” Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp told the club’s website.
“We have provided them with a platform for their own performance analysis. The players are receiving video clips that they need to watch. We are also discussing challenges with the guys.
“As a coach and as the technical team, we are in touch on a regular basis, talking about the way forward based on the reflection of our games played so far. I am not only using the time to prepare for our return to action, I have also been busy with the review and report of the season as things stand.”
The Glamour Boys are eagerly awaiting for the news of the resumption of the season as they have set the league alight this campaign, in a bid to win their first trophy and end a four-season drought.
The season was suspended with Amakhosi in first place after 22 games, four points ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns who have a game in hand.
It’s not just Chiefs who will be using technology to monitor their players during the lockdown. Other clubs have given their players strict measures to make the most of this period, so that when they return to training they haven’t lost much fitness.
Their weight will be checked and their progress will be monitored online during the lockdown.
“Suspending the league season indefinitely is a huge challenge with regards to keeping the players sharp and fit,” Middendorp said.
“We have to deal with different scenarios. The players need to be very professional. We can only guide them adequately using modern technology (video conferences, etc). I am glad that everybody has been professional so far.”