Travel restrictions to some parts of the world have hampered Mamelodi Sundowns’ plans to hold a mini camp abroad in preparation of the restart of the season where Downs will need to find ways to return to their best if they are to maintain their 14-point gap at the summit of the DStv Premiership.
The defending champions did not give their supporters a Christmas gift as they have been struggling to strike the winning formula, finishing the year with a draw and a defeat. To add to their troubles, Downs were drawn into the same group with their former coach, Pitso Moismane’s Al-Ahly side in the Caf Champions League group stages. Masandawana were booted out by the defending champions in the last two seasons, but this time around, Downs co-head coach Rhulani Mokwena believes they have an ace up their sleeves.
“We have a plan in place. We are on a three weeks break and we will resume training on the 14th of January and we will start with medicals. As soon as we get back, we will spend a couple of days at Chloorkop and resort to a camp,” said Mokwena as the Brazilians are finalising details of their mid-season camp.
“The plan was to go overseas but with Covid-19 travel restrictions makes it difficult for us to leave the country. We will be inbound and stay within the borders but we still have to try to make the camp competitive and beneficial to the group.
Mokwena reckons that preparation for the second lap of the domestic season, which will run concurrently with the group stages of the Champions League, will demand a lot from their players and this is why the technical and medical team will leave no stone unturned.
“It won’t be easy because the players will need to reintegrate and come back with less muscle fatigue, less psychological and mental fatigue so we can go on again. It is going to be a difficult remainder of the season and we saw that with the last three games of the league, it shows that we have a battle on our end and that battle is not only on the pitch.”