FC Platinum Give Up Hope On Friendlies

FC Platinum would have wanted to play at least two friendly matches before embarking on their CAF Champions League football campaign next month.

But, they could be forced to play both legs of the preliminary round without any sparring partners.

Their players need at least six weeks of consistent training before playing any competitive games.

This effectively means coach Hendrikus Pieter De Jongh’s men won’t be able to engage in any friendly encounter against local opposition, before plunging into the premier continental club contest.

“It’s difficult for us to secure opponents to play friendly games against,” the Dutchman said.

“Given that we had gone for over seven months without both group training and competition, we would have wanted to play at least two friendly matches before our first game in the CAF Champions League.

“It’s very unfortunate we will have to train ourselves how to compete without a chance to even assess ourselves in a real game situation.

“It is good news that football has been allowed to return but we are fully cognisant of the fact that teams need to train for at least six weeks before engaging in competitive contests.

“In this case, it means we are left with no option than to train ourselves on how to compete.”

He said things could change should they win the preliminary round.

“But, after the first round of the CAF Champions League fixtures, depending on how we would have fared, maybe, there will be some chance for us to play some friendly games before we engage continental teams.

“It is very difficult for us. We are far behind other countries who have running leagues. We are trying to prepare the boys but the situation is not ideal.

“We will see how we go about it.”

Club captain, Gift Bello, has urged his teammates to keep their eyes on the ball as the squad intensify their preparations.

Bello said the general mood in camp, was encouraging.

“The good thing at the moment is we are all adjusting and we are feeling fitter than when we regrouped last week,” said Bello.

“I can say, so far, so good. Our bodies, which had gone for over seven months without ideal football training, are slowly adjusting.

“The mood in the camp is encouraging and the boys are out to defy the odds.

“It has been very difficult for us, as individuals, and as a group, during the lockdown. We are not used to the long dry spell.

“We used to complain about the speed at which fixtures were coming at us — the league, Champions League and cup games, all that.

“Then came this period, it was mentally stressful and physically difficult but we are glad we are back, doing what we love the most, though with some restrictions on our normal routines.

“My teammates are adjusting and, with that mentality, we can achieve our targets.”

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