BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS players and officials will this week undergo COVID-19 testing, medicals and start training in preparation for the resumption of the league next month.
The Independence Trophy final pitting the Bulawayo giants against Dynamos will also be played in two weeks’ time.
Highlanders spokesperson Ronald Moyo yesterday confirmed that Bosso will kickstart its preparations this week.
“We start testing for COVID-19 this week and then we do medicals as is required by the Premier Soccer League (PSL). We realise that all talk has been about COVID-19 testing and as for us we are concerned with the conditions, health and fitness of our players who have been out of action for a considerable amount of time. After that, we will start training in preparation for the season,” Moyo said.
According to the PSL: “Clubs must ensure that the COVID-19 containment protocols and the PSL safety protocols are strictly followed. Testing will be done by the club doctors and monitored by the PSL sports medicine committee. The committee will be expanded to have a panel of 10 medical doctors. PCR/rapid testing should be done for players, officials and club staff at least 48 hours prior to commencement of training. Players and officials who test positive for the COVID-19 virus will be required to isolate as per the government guidelines.”
Highlanders coach Mandla Mpofu reckons it would not be easy as they will have to be cautious with training strategies to avert injuries.
“We indeed start training this week, but this inactivity for a long time has never happened before. How we will start is important for players. We have to do it with caution as we face the danger of players tearing muscles. When COVID-19 broke out last year, we gave players training programmes, but it was not easy making follow-ups. It is our hope that players have been training by themselves. Fitness and health is of great concern,” Mpofu said.
The Bulawayo giants lost a number of key players during the break.
Striker Prince Dube is now plying his trade in Tanzania for Azam.
Tinashe Makanda joined Dynamos, while Brian Banda is now on FC Platinum books.
Michelle Katsvairo, Collin Mujuru and goalkeeper Chris Mverechena left without kicking a ball after signing one-year contracts last year.
However, they have brought in Winston Mhango, Andrew Tandi, Lynoth Chikukwa while Peter Muduhwa, Ariel Sibanda, Godfrey Makaruse, Rodi Sibanda, Ray Lunga and Nqobizitha Masuku have extended their stay at the club.
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