Orlando Pirates fitness trainer, Japhet Borges, has reportedly intensified the team’s training regime ahead of their CAF Champions League clash against Leopards de Dolisie, on July 20.
However, Borges made it clear on Orlando Pirates’ official website that most of the squad players are in good physical shape, despite just returning from a three week break.
Borges told orlandopiratesfc.com, “When the guys left at the end of last season we gave them a programme to follow during their break. From the initial tests we have conducted I believe most of them have been doing some extra work during the break which is comforting.”
Pirates have less than a month to prepare for their tough CAF Champions League encounter at home against Congolese giants, Leopards de Dolisie, which will be followed by an even tougher away match against Al Ahly in Egypt.
The team’s fitness will play a major role if the Buccaneers wish to advance from the group stages of Africa’s premium club competition.
“However, we will be running further tests to measure each player’s fitness level and the team as a whole and then I shall start intensifying the training sessions in the next few days. We have very little time to prepare for the games ahead, so we will need to get the guys up to speed very soon,” add Borges on the Bucs’ official website.
Borges knows just how tough the start of the season will be on the team’s players, considering all of the competitions they will be participating in. The fitness of the players shouldn’t be a concern and Borges will be looking to eliminate that factor.
He told Soccer-Laduma, “We have an important time in July and August. In fact, the first three months will be very hard for us. The conditioning of the players will play a big role. We need to get everyone in good condition, but if we push the players too much, they could pick up injuries. Then we are back to where we started.
“We obviously have the Champions League, Carling Black Label Cup, MTN8 and the league to think about, so it’s important for us to have everyone fit. We need to start preparing for all these competitions.”
Have your say on how this will affect Bucs’ CAF Champions League and Absa Premiership ambitions.
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will clash on July 27, with the title of 2013 Carling Black Label Cup champions up for grabs.
Check the voting on your favourite teams on the Carling Black Label website here!
By: Julian Bailey
Follow Julian on Twitter: @Kwetsa_89