Top TNM Super League teams have arranged for their players to continue preparations for the 2020 football season at home after suspending training due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new season did not kick off on the scheduled March 21 after the government stopped all gatherings involving more than 100 people at a time.
This saw the Super League teams suspending training sessions in a bid to ensure safety of their players, officials and supporters from the outbreak.
However, the league’s three big teams, Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers, have drawn programmes for their players to continue training at their respective homes in a bid to maintain their fitness.
Bullets assistant Coach, Peter Mponda, said they do not want to be taken unawares when the suspension of action is lifted.
“We are not taking chances in our preparations. We cannot afford to relax because the season can kick off any time.
We have a training programme which our players are following. Our physical trainer regularly checks on the players’ fitness levels at their respective homes.
Mponda said Coach Kallisto Pasuwa is also personally checking on all the players to ascertain if they were following the programme agreed upon at the suspension of training.
“We agreed with our players before suspending training that they will be following the training schedule while at home. We also agreed to conduct regular checks on every player so that no one strays from our programme.
“We know it is not easy to maintain the fitness that they gain during normal training sessions but all we want is to keep them away from habits not befitting their careers. We will be regularly reviewing reports from our physical trainer and take appropriate action where we are not satisfied,” Mponda said.
Wanderers General Secretary, Victor Maunde, said their Team Manager Foster Namwera has been tasked with the responsibility of checking on the players as they continue training at home.
“Namwera is following up on all our players in their homes. We want them to remain fit despite the suspension of training,” Maunde said.
Silver Chief Executive Officer, Thokozani Chimbali, said they had deployed their coaches to monitor their players in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
Chimbali said Head Coach Daniel Kabwe is checking on their Lilongwe-based players while assistants MacDonald Mtetemera and MacDonald Yobe are responsible for those in Blantyre.
“After suspending our training sessions, we thought it wise to start following up on what our players are doing in their homes. Our coaching panel is in charge of the exercise and we expect all our players to fulfil their part of the bargain. The coaches will assess results of the exercise next week and we will take it from there,” Chimbali said.
On March 20, President Peter Mutharika directed that all sporting activities be suspended indefinitely as a precautionary measure in the face of the raging pandemic that has already killed over 75,000 people and infected over 1.3 million others worldwide.
The new season was expected to kick off with an official opening match between Bullets and Blue Eagles at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.