Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena has outlined the importance of pre-season as the club looks to go the distance in their title challenge.
Pirates are currently occupied in preparations for the 2018/19 season, with coach Micho Sredojevic looking to go one better in his second season since his return to the helm.
After ending closely behind champions Mamelodi Sundowns last term, the Buccaneers are determined to end a four-year trophy drought and are thus undergoing vital groundwork in Nelspruit.
Mokwena has stressed that preparing for the “marathon” that lies ahead will be key to where they end up at the finish line.
“You cannot just wake up one day and run the Comrades Marathon. You start with 5km, then 10km, 20km, all the way up until the body can handle the longer distances,” Mokwena told his club’s website.
“That is effectively what pre-season is for. The body needs to be fully prepared for the physical demands of a tough season.
“We know that a season is not a sprint, it is a marathon, and we know that for any team that wants to win this marathon, the planning needs to be right.”
With Bucs set to contest a total of five domestic and continental competitions this season, Mokwena also explained the value of theoretical and practical work as they look to also integrate the new contingent in the squad.
“This is a big season for the club. We have more games to play than last year, therefore we need to make sure that our periodisation is done properly,” he added.
“We also welcome a couple of new faces who have not yet been exposed to our game model. We will use the time in camp to familiarise the players with a new style of play, and this will obviously entail both theoretical and practical applications.
“The challenge, however, is that we have players coming in from different teams, and with that comes different ideas and understandings of how to play.
“Our job in pre-season is to deconstruct what they know and formulate a new blueprint for the upcoming season.”