By Ricky Zililo
National football team defender Teenage Hadebe flew back to his Turkish base yesterday, cutting his two-week compassionate leave by six days to start preparations for the resumption of league games.
Hadebe, who turns out for Yeni Malatyaspor, a club based in Malatya about 470km away from Turkey’s coronavirus epicentre of Istanbul, was granted leave to visit his family after his wife gave birth to twins in March.
He cut short his holiday after spending seven days with his family following news that the Turkish league resumes next month.
Turkish Football Federation president, Nihat Özdemir, announced that they had set June 12 as the date for the resumption of competitive football in the country.
He told reporters, following a four-hour meeting with top football officials and executives that the Turkish Super Lig, and the immediate lower leagues in that country will resume in June and end on July 26.
All matches are set to be played behind closed doors.
The former Bantu Rovers, Highlanders, Chicken Inn and Kaizer Chiefs defender is itching for a return to action after missing his team’s last three matches before the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We are starting training on Tuesday and I feel very much refreshed. It was good to come and see my family, my newborn babies and I now go back with a settled mind. Mentally, I’m prepared for the remainder of the season and looking forward to fight for a place in the team.
“I’ve been working hard during the lockdown, religiously following the training programme given by the technical team. I also put in extra workouts because I want to be fit and ready as I missed a number of games because of a red card,” said Hadebe.
The towering left-footed defender was red-carded on March 1 when Yeni Malatyaspor lost 0-2 to Denizlispor. He missed his team’s 1-1 draw against Konyaspor, 1-3 defeat to Trabzonspor and their last game, a 1-2 loss to Kayserispor on March 15.
When matches resume, Yeni Malatyaspor, who are 15th on the log in the 18-team league with 25 points from 26 games, will face Fenerbache. The Chronicle