Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has for the first time spoken about what it’s like to return to training under strict health protocols.
The Brazilians are currently in camp at the Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg as they prepare for the expected resumption of football in the coming weeks.
Downs were second behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs in the Absa Premiership title race, with a game in hand, when the 2019/20 season was halted due to the Coronavirus outbreak nearly four months ago.
“It has not be easy, of course. It’s a new life and this is now supposed to be our normal life. But it is difficult because we walk around with masks and you can’t breathe easily, though we have to observe the health issues,” Mosimane told the media.
“We have to be exemplary. It is a strange feeling, when we meet, it is at a certain time and we are always together – hugging and greeting. We haven’t seen each other in three months. We meet on a WhatsApp group – everyone gets their keys and they go straight to their room. Those are the rules being put by the doctors – no hanging around, no loitering. It is the way the situation is.”
The coach, who has suggested before that team will most likely need a minimum of three weeks before matches can be played again, also painted a picture of how tough it is to get his message across to the players using social distancing.
“In a 100 days there’s a lot of months inside there. How do you welcome players back with social distancing? It’s difficult training, and it’s a different type of training. Small groups of four and we hang around here the whole time so that we must welcome other groups coming – it demands more time, it demands a lot,” Mosimane explained.
It’s costly, too, he added.
“It’s expensive to make sure that we have the equipment, sanitizers, disinfecting of balls, free kick men, bibs – I mean, you just can’t believe it. We knew, but when we have to face it, it’s something else,” the coach said.
“Everyone has their own basket, boots, water, masks, whatever it is you have to comply. We don’t sit together. When you arrive you go to your station. That’s your place. We pray with social distancing – everyone a little bit further from each other. Our training sessions are non-contact training sessions. It’s not easy to address the tactical side of the game. You can only win on the physical side, but that’s not related to the game, places are demarcated. It’s another story.”
Story by @superjourno
Scroll through the gallery to see how Chiefs returned to training