FRANCISTOWN: Premier League Clubs have returned to full training in preparation for the 2021-2022 season, after almost more than a year of lack of action.
The league season is anticipated to start in September this year. Football activities were halted in March last year in a bid to deal with the growing cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jwaneng Galaxy coach, Oris Radipotsane said the players will stay up to date with COVID-19 protocols as they prepare for the return to competitive action. “We started training last week. The training was nothing much but just conditioning of the players. We will gradually increase the intensity of training each week. I believe that by the fifth week, we will be able to start playing friendlies,” Radipotsane said.
He added that the club will conduct COVID-19 tests every two weeks. “So far we have not recorded any positive COVID-19 cases. We conducted our first tests last week.
Our players are also constantly advised to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.” Radipotsane said that owing to challenges posed by COVID-19, the club might not go to South Africa for its pre-season.
Galaxy often goes across the border for pre-season to play friendly matches against South African opponents. “The idea is that by the fifth week we should be playing friendlies to prepare the team for the CAF Champions League, which starts in September.”
Orapa United spokesperson, Amelton Gaefhele said the team started training last week under very strict COVID-19 guidelines. He added that the club also does routine COVID-19 tests.
“We have also been regularly talking to players to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols while at home. Players have also been advised to go to the testing centre when they do not feel well,” he said.
“For now our drills and overall training programme have been designed to minimise player contact in a bid to counter the spread of COVID-19. The methods of our training will be adjusted as time goes on,” Gaefhele said. He added that the club has not recorded any COVID-19 cases since training started last week. Other clubs that have started training are rookies Sua Flamingoes, Morupule Wanderers, Gaborone United and Township Rollers. Premier League clubs were permitted to start training at the beginning of this month.
However, a majority of them delayed returning to play in a bid to fulfil COVID-19 prevention guidelines set by the Botswana Football Association.