BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya (pictured) says top-flight clubs will have to start pre-season preparations all over again and will require at least six weeks to ready their teams for the new season when football finally returns.
The start of the 2020 Premier Soccer League season has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has brought the whole world and football to a standstill.
Hopes for a cure remain just but a dream and Zimbabwe is in the middle of a 14-day second phase of lockdown, having completed the first 21-day phase.
Ndiraya reckons the work done by local coaches at the beginning of the year has gone down the drain.
“It’s a very difficult time for football coaches. We had invested a lot of time and energy into our preparations and I am afraid all the time and energy have gone down the drain,” Ndiraya lamented in an interview with Standardsport.
Local coaches have tried to give players individual training schedules meant to keep the players fit during the lockdown, but with the duration of the ban on football unknown the efforts may come to naught.
“The pandemic has so far shown that it will not go away easily and that means we will start all over again when we finally get the green light to train again from the responsible authorities,” he said.
“It depends on when we are going to be allowed to train again. We may have to start pre-season all over again and that means a minimum of six weeks.”
However, Ndiraya has predicted a tough competition when the season eventually starts and touted FC Platinum as the team to beat.
“There is going to be more intense competition than last season. FC Platinum will be the team to beat, Caps United will be competitive, Triangle will be stronger and Chicken Inn will be more aggressive than they were last season,” he said.
“Ngezi will be dangerous, Black Rhinos will surprise many, ZPC will have more steel, but we will most certainly retain our respect and make our partners Rudland and George, our supporters and all those who follow us happy again.”
Dynamos had a busy transfer window bringing in at least 13 new recruits as they seek to land their first league title in six years.
The Harare giants also sent Ndiraya to Belgium for a two-week attachment at top-flight side KV Mechelen.
He reflects on the trip: “I had great exposure in Belgium and I learned a lot of things. I was exposed to new modern football trends and it is important for teams to send their coaches as well to get this exposure. “Europe is miles ahead of us in terms of football development and we can only learn from them.”
While in Belgium, Ndiraya also visited giants Anderlecht and had a one-on-one with Anderlecht player/coach Vincent Kompany, formerly with English champions Manchester City.