Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Ofori – Most footballers can’t train on their own

Maritzburg United goalkeeper Richard Ofori says it is hard for players to train alone during the coronavirus pandemic.

The question of when exactly the Premier Soccer League can resume remains up in the air, with the government announcing an extension of the current lockdown until at least April 30.

Teams would effectively need to have a new pre-season once the all-clear is given – while players do their own workouts individually at home, this is simply not the same as match-fitness.

“Most footballers can’t train on their own,” said Ofori.

“Most depend on team training, when it comes to this (the lockdown), it affects the game … we need to hope for the best and try to come back.”

Maritzburg were having a fine season under Eric Tinkler before the crisis hit, narrowly beaten by Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout final, and sitting an impressive fifth place in the Absa Premiership .

Ofori, reportedly a transfer target for Orlando Pirates, puts their success down to “togetherness” following on from the 2018/19 campaign, where United only survived the drop via the play-offs.

“We suffered a lot last season,” said Ofori.

“So this season I think there was togetherness, and hard work for the team. Also … we didn’t start (this season) very well, but I think when the coach talks to us (now) … we listen, we try to do everything possible to help him. In each and every position there is competition, everyone wants to execute the chance the coach has given him. “

“You know if you don’t work hard the opportunity will be given to another player, who will deliver.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits