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De Jongh raises Premiership resumption red flag

BY FORTUNE MBELE FC PLATINUM coach Hendrikus Pieter De Jongh has questioned the wisdom of rushing players back into Premier League action following a lengthy break induced by the outbreak of COVID-19. Although his team needs more game time before plunging into the Caf Champions League this November having played a single competitive game all year, the Dutch coach does not want to rush his players back into full throttle action after Zifa suggested that the topflight league could resume in a month's time. The Premier Soccer League insists dates cannot be set before authorisation from government. De Jongh yesterday questioned the wisdom of starting the league on short notice since there has been no action since March when football activities were suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 'How is it possible to prepare for only four weeks and then want to start the league? Preparation needs a minimum of six weeks and now after more than six months without team training, eight weeks preparation would do,' De Jongh wrote on his Twitter account. In an interview following his post, the Dutchman said starting the league on scrappy preparations would expose players to injuries. 'Starting the league with little time of preparation will expose players to injuries and it will be difficult to display good top performance. It is important to train on technical and tactical areas. It's not like I have any suggestion to Zifa or the PSL but from my experience as an international football coach, I know we need six weeks preparation and now because since end of March there has been no training, we may need eight weeks.' He said FC Platinum awaits authorisation to start team training and for the Caf Champions League there is still ample time to prepare. 'The Champions League is at the end of November. We have enough time. As long as there is no enough time for preparation, then there is a problem. At the moment my players are still training at home and send in updates about their home training four times a week. We are just waiting to see if we could get back to the pitch and work on technical and tactical areas,' De Jongh said.

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