Middendorp ‘itching’ to return to action

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Although coach Ernst Middendorp admits that it is imperative to follow instructions issued by the government to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Kaizer Chiefs coach says he is itching to return to action.

“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,” Middendorp told the club’s website.

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

The coronavirus has been declared a disaster in South Africa and a 21-day lockdown began on Thursday midnight, March 27 to April 16 to tackle the spread of the virus with Cyril Ramaphosa encouraging people to stay at home and adhere to the regulations.

“We must all be aware of our responsibilities. In this time of self-isolation, it’s very important to lift one another’s spirits. We make sure that we maintain contact through technological means with each other during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Middendorp

The PSL has postponed matches until further notice. “Suspending the league season indefinitely is a huge challenge with regards to keeping the players sharp and fit. We have to deal with different scenarios,” admits the Chiefs mentor.

Middendorp revealed that he is working online with the players individually and his technical team have worked out a programme to keep the players fit and ready at any time when called upon to return to action.

“Amakhosi’ are at the summit of the Absa Premiership with 48 points, closely followed by the defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns in second spot on 44 points and a game in hand.

“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.

“The players need to be very professional. We can only guide them adequately using modern technology (video conferences, etc). I am glad that everybody has been professional 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,” concluded the German coach.

In a statement Chiefs said that they are observing the South African government’s order of the 21-Day lockdown and wishing everyone to do likewise.

Maintain social distancing by maintaining at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Practice respiratory hygiene by making sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19.

By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi

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