Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Ndiraya worried about playing in empty stadiums

By Eddie Chikamhi

Dynamos coach, Tonderai Ndiraya, says it will be sad scenario for domestic football to return, without fans, in the stands.

Former Dynamos midfielder and now Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya
Tonderai Ndiraya

The Premier Soccer League is expected to get underway, next month, after a year of inactivity.

However, authorities have made it clear the matches will be played behind closed doors.

The Glamour Boys became the latest club to test players, and officials, for Covid-19, in anticipation of the top-flight league’s return next month.

Led by their board chairman Bernard Marriot, the executive members and technical staff, DeMbare underwent the tests, and also took the Covid-19 vaccination, at Wilkins Hospital in Harare.

Ndiraya told The Saturday Herald he was excited by the expected kick-off, after a lengthy absence, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

DeMbare are scheduled to begin their training today.

“Firstly, I must say that it feels good to be back at work, to be back to what we know best,’’ he said.

“I think, it’s been a long time since we did that just that we have been lying idle at home.

“For me, I think, it was a little bit better because I was involved with the national team but, for all the other colleagues of mine, it was really difficult.

“So, I am happy, we are happy as an institution that we are back and, hopefully, we will get down to business, in the shortest possible time, the business of preparations.’’

Ndiraya, however, believes football will never be the same, without fans, in the terraces.

“It’s going to be really difficult, we are used to our fans, we are used to being pushed by our fans,’’ he said.

“However, this is the situation we find ourselves in, we just have to soldier on, without our fans.

“It’s really going to be a sad scenario but what can we do?

“This is Covid-19 we are talking about, it a deadly animal, so we just have to comply.

“But, it’s going to be difficult.

“It’s unfortunate that the new players, we have brought in, are really going to start their business at Dynamos, without the fans, and that is really going to be difficult for them.

“I can imagine the time they will then play before our multitude of fans, the atmosphere is quite different, so, it’s unfortunate but this is Dynamos.

“We know that our fans are going to be rooting for us, from wherever they are.

“They will be glued to their television sets, and really push the team from their homes, so, all the same, yes, we are getting in without our fans but we are really going to be doing it for our fans.’’

The coach remains concerned about the levels of fitness and the “little” time they are likely to be given for the pre-season.

“I must be honest, I think it’s really going to be very difficult for the boys,’’ he said.

“I think the honest truth is they need time, they need more time to really get back into shape, there is a mandatory six-week period, for pre-season.

“But, in this case, the six weeks is for those who would have been active, who would have been playing football.

“These boys have been sitting at home, for almost a year, and you can’t expect them to be fully fit in six weeks.

“So, we are looking at more than six weeks, for the boys to really get to full fitness.

“We all saw what happened to those in the professional leagues.

“It was very difficult for them, after sitting out for a few months, it was difficult for them to get back to the fitness that is required.

“There is general fitness and of course match fitness.

“Of course, we have been giving them some training programmes but that is not enough, you really need to play, for you to get the necessary fitness.’’

The Glamour Boys recently announced the signing of five players, who include Trevor Mavhunga, Frank Makarati, Tinashe Makanda, Newman Sianchali and Luke Musikiri Last year Dynamos unveiled players like Patson Jaure, who has since been handed the club captaincy, Juan Mutudza, Barnabas Mushunje, Tinotenda Chiunye, goalkeeper Tymon Mvula, Lennox Mutsetse, Tanaka Chidhobha, Nkosi Mlanga, Sylvester Appiah, Byron Madzokere and David Temwanjira. The Herald

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