Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana is not worried that the current suspension of football could affect their momentum in the league title challenge, but has welcomed the recession as something they “have been longing for.”
Participation in the Caf Champions League saw Downs failing to enjoy the off-season break in recent past years.
For the first time since 2015, the Brazilians will not be involved in competitive matches for at least a month.
Kekana feels that the current period of inactivity will help them recharge their body batteries to continue with their Premier Soccer League (PSL) title defence bid.
Prior to the halting of league action, second-placed Sundowns were charging towards leaders Kaizer Chiefs after knitting a four-match unbeaten run to come just four points behind Amakhosi.
Pitso Mosimane’s men have played a game less than Chiefs in what could be an advantage to them if the season continues.
“I think for us we just want to use this situation as a break we have been longing for,” Kekana told FARPost.
“I believe it will help the team because we have been in and out of the country and it has been happening for seasons without a break in between. So, I think it is an opportunity to rest some muscles and refresh our minds even though it’s not as easy as I make it sound because we are facing the same situation as [other] people in the world.”
Maritzburg United are the only other team to complete a run of four consecutive wins just before the lockdown.
With players currently training individually at their respective homes, Kekana feels like they are on pre-season and just need a few training sessions to regain fitness and pick up from where they left off if the campaign resumes.
“I am sure it is just going to take a few [training] sessions for us to start going again. The foundation is strong and we just have to maintain it and also to manage the load,” said Kekana.
“It is going to be like the rest of the years where there will be a pre-season training. And I don’t think it is going to be a problem. Pre-season normally… comes after a two full months break. So, I am sure this will feel like it is pre-season.”
Hosting Orlando Pirates and travelling to Chiefs are some of the crucial assignments facing Downs if the camapign continues.
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By Michael Madyira