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Check your weight, Kimanzi advises players

Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi issues instructions during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on September 5, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – With the current lock-down of training facilities imposed by the government to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, players are faced with a challenge to keep fit while training in the most basic of facilities, while some none at all.

One danger that comes with reduced training for players is the threat of putting on weight and Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi has urged his players to ensure they check on this aspect to make it easier for them gather pace when the season resumes.

“At this point, it becomes very difficult to keep in perfect shape and the easiest thing players can do is to play with their weight. If you can’t access a treadmill at home, you can try jogging as an individual and also do a bit of core cardio to ensure you don’t gain too much,” Kimanzi said, speaking to Capital Sports.

Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi, his assistant Zedekiah Otieno and fitness trainer Michael Igendia during the 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Lugogo Complex in Kampala on December 19, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The tactician has admitted it has been hard to keep track of all his players to ensure they are active and says at this instance, it is mostly about trust and professionalism.

“The good thing is that at this point, players belong to the clubs and the clubs are doing their best to ensure they keep fit. It has become very hard to track everyone of them. Before, when there were games, it was easier,” Kimanzi outlined.

“We have a program that we use which gives us every detail of a player in terms of the games he has played, his statistics in that game and so forth, so it is easier to know a player who is performing,” Kimanzi added.

“When we come back I think it will be more about trusting the group that we had before because at least we were in touch with their progress. I have also tried to follow up on the players who were injured like Mandela and Ayub to see their recovery,” the coach further disclosed.

At the same time, he has urged all members of the football fraternity to ensure they follow the guidelines for the world to win the war against the virus.

Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi feeds instructions to his players during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on March 25, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“As footballers we find ourselves at a strange place because we can’t do what we normally do, that is train and play football. But we have to adapt. We are used to giving instructions to players to stay compact in games but now we have to change the gospel and preach to them about social distancing,” the Harambee Stars boss revealed.

“But there is no need to panic. We need to stay calm, follow the instructions given by health specialists because I believe this is temporary and we shall overcome. Of course we miss our moments in football but we need to follow the procedures so that we all come out victorious and healthy. We need a lot of teamwork in this,” the tactician affirmed.

His immediate concern though after all this is over will be to ensure Stars qualify for a second consecutive Cup of Nations with qualifiers against Comoros postponed.

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Stars were on two points after back to back draws with Egypt (away) and Togo (home).

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