IT’S just a week before the league season kicks off, but the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is yet to release the fixtures programme, a development that has dismayed coaches who feel the delay has adversely affected their planning.
BY HENRY MHARA
The 2018 season starts next Saturday, according to the PSL, but teams are still in the dark on the identity of their opponents in the opening weekend.
Coaches and analysts who spoke to NewsDay Weekender want the PSL to emulate world best standards like the English Premier League (EPL) and the South African premier league where the fixture list is released months before the season kicks off to enable clubs to plan accordingly.
Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya said the delay had inconvenienced his plans for the upcoming season, where the Mhondoro-Ngezi side have targeted to win the title.
“We don’t expect it to be like the EPL but we want to be there. We understand the administration challenges but the fact remains, we are inconvenienced in a big way as coaches. You want to prepare for a specific team, and not just to prepare in general,” Ndiraya said.
He added: “It’s not only the coaches that are affected by this, but the club administrators as well. They need to know where the team will be playing for budget and other planning purposes.”
The EPL released their fixtures for the current season on June 14, and the season commenced on August 12.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa said: “It becomes very difficult to plan, especially when you prepare to play friendly matches with the teams in the league. But we have come to understand that such things happen in this country and instead of crying we have to face it and move on.”
Former Caps United star and assistant coach Alois Bunjira also gave his opinion on the matter.
“A lot is involved in preparation and decisions on which players to prepare for which game and where. Its very key. There are budgetary issues as well.
That is why fixtures in the professional world are released even months before kick-off, for such preparation and planning. Taking that for granted highlights our lack of knowledge on the impact of such in professional football, and we continue to lag behind. Experts will tell you how important it is,” Bunjira said.
PSL communications and media liaison officer Kudzai Bare said the fixtures would be announced in due course.