Nakamba in fitness battle

WARRIORS star midfielder Marvelous Nakamba has been handed a discrete fitness training programme by interim coach Norman Mapeza after the Vitesse Arnhem player showed signs of tiredness when joining camp.

The Netherlands-based midfielder has been inactive in the last two weeks since the conclusion of the Eredivisie where his side finished fifth, just a place outside Europa League qualification.

Nakamba and Vitesse however, ended the season with some silverware after lifting the Dutch Cup.
The 23-year-old was included in Mapeza’s squad for next weekend’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Liberia.

After two days of training at the Yadah Hotel football ground in Waterfalls, the Warriors broke camp on Thursday to allow local-based players to take part in this weekend’s Castle Lager Premiership matches.

“...if you look at guys like Marvelous (Nakamba) they haven’t been training for about two weeks, he wasn’t looking okay, you could see there was tiredness but he will come right,” Mapeza said.

“I will try to give him a programme so that he can go and train individually until Sunday so that by the time we meet on Monday, he will be much better.

“We don’t have time you know with these Afcon games and the pressure is always there; the games are so demanding and I think even with the rest of the guys who started training on Wednesday, I will have to give them a similar programme so that when they come back on Monday they won’t feel the intensity of the training session.”

The Warriors are in a tough Group G together with Liberia, DR Congo and Congo with only the top team qualifying for the finals to be hosted by Cameroon.

Nakamba wants his teammates to be very cautious of all the teams in the group if the Warriors are to make back-to-back appearances at the tournament after taking part in this year’s edition in Gabon.

“For now, I think football is improving a little bit in every nation and I don’t think there’s anything like a weaker team right now,” Nakamba said.
“We are four teams in our group and I think we have to do everything and try our level best to produce positive results so that we can continue to improve and go on to be among the top ranked teams.”
Turning to the game against the Lone Stars, the former Bantu Rovers midfielder said they have to be at their best. 
“I think it’s an important game (against Liberia) for every Zimbabwean and also for me I look at it that way and we have to try our best and give everything for the nation,” he said.

“I think there’s always room for improvement in football (on his form back in Netherlands) we just have to continue learning and give it my best trying everything in order to achieve positive results.

“The training has been going well, the intensity is very high and also the coaching system is top class. I think each and every game is always important now whichever team you are playing against you have to be 100 percent focused which also calls for maximum concentration.

“I’m just here to play football, there’s always a new team every time, it’s always like that even in our clubs we always have changes every time so we just have to focus on the Liberian match for now.”
— Austin Karonga


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