SuperSport still short of match fitness, says coach

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo is preparing his players for the resumption of the Premier Soccer League in August
FRESH FOCUS: SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo is preparing his players for the resumption of the Premier Soccer League in August
Image: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

SuperSport United soccer coach Kaitano Tembo says most of his players will be about 70-80% match-fit for their first game of the Absa Premiership resumption against Bloemfontein Celtic at Bidvest Stadium.

SuperSport host Celtic on August 16 in Matsatsanta’s first match back from the restart. All teams were given new home stadiums as part of the return in the Gauteng bio-safe bubble.

United restart their season sitting third on the log with 40 points from 24 matches and a chance of qualifying for the African Champions League or the Confederation Cup.

As they stepped up their training, Tembo said they would treat their clash against Celtic as a preparation match because they could not play friendlies.

“I think we will probably be about 70-80% ready by our first match. We are going to take that as a preparation match because we have not had time to play friendlies because of this Covid-19‚” he said.

The former Zimbabwean defender welcomed the announcement this week by PSL chair Irvin Khoza that the season would resume on August 11.

“Confirmation of the restart date by the chair of the league, Dr Khoza, is helpful because it allows us as coaches and the players to plan properly. I am not saying things are going to be easy but it definitely makes planning a little bit better when you know when‚ what time and where you are going to play.

“It is not going to be easy because we only started training as a group a few days ago as we had to observe social distancing rules when we returned to training about a month ago.

“We will only know after the first match where the guys are in terms of match fitness because the reality of the situation is that players are not match-fit now.

“We have been training for a few weeks but it was difficult to plan not knowing when we are going to start.”

 

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