Middendorp using video to keep Kaizer Chiefs fit in coranavirus lockdown

Shaun Bartlett with Ernst Middendorp during the CAF Confederation Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Elgeco Plus FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Shaun Bartlett with Ernst Middendorp during the CAF Confederation Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Elgeco Plus FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Ernst Middendorp has said that Kaizer Chiefs’s technical and fitness staff are utilising video conferencing technology to keep in touch with their locked down players and try to guide them through individual training regimes.

Chiefs coach Middendorp admitted he faces a “huge challenge” keeping his Absa Premiership-leading squad fit during the 21-day national lockdown in response to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.

“Suspending the league season indefinitely is a huge challenge with regards to keeping the players sharp and fit‚” Middendorp told Kaizer Chiefs’ official website.

“We have to deal with different scenarios. The players need to be very professional. We can only guide them adequately using modern technology [such as video conferencing]. I am glad that everybody has been professional so far.”

Middendorp said he completely supports the national lockdown declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa aimed at attempting to ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus cases in South Africa.

“Of course‚ I wish to be on the training ground at any time and I hope to be back at Naturena soon‚ because we want to finish the season successfully‚” the coach said.

“However‚ currently‚ we have to take care‚ heed the call to stay home and not move outside to avoid the expansion of the virus.

“Currently‚ we are working online with the players individually. We have provided them with a platform for their own performance analysis.

“The players are receiving video clips that they need to watch. We are also discussing challenges with the guys.

“As a coach and as the technical team‚ we are in touch on a regular basis‚ talking about the way forward based on the reflection of our games played so far.

“I am not only using the time to prepare for our return to action‚ I have also been busy with the review and report of the season as things stand.”

Chiefs‚ with 48 points from 22 games‚ are the leaders of the 2019-20 Premiership‚ which has had its games suspended by the Premier Soccer League since Monday‚ March 16 in response to the coronavirus breakout in SA. Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns are second with 44 points from 21 matches.

By Thursday there were 927 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Africa. The lockdown in SA began at midnight on Thursday night.

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