LOCAL coaches are excited by the return of football in the country saying it will bring continuity to the game.
The development means the Chibuku Super Cup which was stopped over a week ago is resuming.
In an interview with H-Metro Sport on Wednesday, a number of coaches expressed delight with government’s decision to give a nod to a number of sports codes.
ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi said they need to make a statement in the second round of the competition.
The Chibuku Super Cup is being played in a mini-league format where teams – in four groups – are playing in a home and away with the top team qualifying for the quarter finals.
“We are really grateful for the resumption of football almost two weeks after our last match against CAPS United C where we drew 0-0. We had gathered the momentum, and all of a sudden everything came to a halt due to the increase in numbers of the Covid-19 cases.
“Soon after the announcement of the ban of all sporting activities, we had to give our players individual training programmes to keep them in shape. Now that we are back in business we have plans in place for the second round of the tournament where I feel we have to make a statement.
“Like I alluded to, the team had gathered the momentum, only to have a stoppage of which we are going to start all over again,” he said.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is also elated but warned those involved with the game to be cautious of Covid-19.
“It’s always good to play again, but at the end of the day we all need to be very cautious this pandemic is real.
“I’ve talking to my friends in South Africa, people are dying and you know we don’t want such situations in the country.
“But as for football we are all happy, I think me as a coach and all other coaches, players everybody who is involved with football in the country is happy that the government has given us the green light to play again,” said Mapeza.
He, however, believes the brief stop will not affect their rhythm.
“I don’t think it has really affected us in any way. I think it was just a week or so, so I don’t think it did any impact on what we’ve been doing before,” he said.
Black Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa said:
“We are happy to be back as coaches we are in a difficult situation to make sure we prepare our team mentally and physically after this short break. It disrupts the rhythm of the team which was already work in progress.
Whawha coach Luke Petros said they are looking for redemption in the second phase of the competition.
“We are happy with the resumption of football. It is something that we were expecting and we are grateful to those who made it possible.
“Our focus now is to start from where we left off. We need to get the results in the second round. The boys were eagerly waiting for the call. This is a great stride we should uphold,” said Petros.
Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro described it as the ‘sweetest news’.
“It’s the sweetest news to hear that government has okayed the resumption of football, note that we had reservations about the sudden break we understand where it was coming from because I believe as a team we also have a part to play.
“We are really excited to be back and at the same time we need to remain vigilant and continue exercising the COVID protocols insuring that we follow what the guidelines say to us.
“It’s refreshing that we get back to practice and for us as a team it has given us a chance to redeem ourselves having not done as well as we would have expected in the first three games and with three to go, we haven’t lost hope but we know that we need to double our efforts and that’s what we will do as a team and going forward.
“We hope to turn around things, we also hope that as a nation we will be able to handle the pandemic and normalcy will soon return because one of the things that has touched me the most is the unavailability of fans were we are playing in the empty stadia. You just feel that there’s something missing, the fans bring an electric atmosphere to the stadium. I’ve seen teams win matches because of the part that the fans play. We just pray that normalcy return and the fans will be able to watch the game,” said Mangwiro.
Tenax coach Shadreck Mugurasave believes the stop will affect the players’ fitness levels given that they had gone for over a year without football action.
“Level of fitness and also performance of each and every player will deteriorate. But all in all, we are very happy to go back to our fields with the boys.
“As for way forward, we are going to draw a programme that can suit the time given by PSL for the games,” said Mugurasave.
Yadah coach Genesis Mangombe weighed in and said:
“I am very excited and gave us the opportunity to address to our shortfalls since it is a tournament, for me it was a blessing in disguise for the recovery of my boys hence we are going to come back a better side
“Of course it had affected the fluidity and cohesion which was starting to come out but the good thing is we are still in the race.”
CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo said:
“The most important thing is that football is back and we are so grateful to the authorities for all the efforts to bring back football.
“In terms of rhythm, we will work hard to make sure we take it up from where we left and do better than wat we did in the first round of games.”
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya said what is important now is to adhere to the laid down protocols.
“We want to thank the Government through the SRC for safeguarding jobs in the football industry. The onus is now on all the football stakeholders to make ensure that all the strict Covid-19 protocols are followed to safeguard lives.
“We are excited at the prospect of starting Chibuku Super Cup matches again,” said Ndiraya.
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas said:
“Yes it’s great that we can resume playing in the Chibuku Super Cup. We thank the relevant authorities whom have given us the go ahead.
“We been away from training for the past two weeks so we have to try and take off from where we left. It’s not too long a time that we been away so we should be able to get the team moving in the right direction.”