Zvirekwi gets time off

HARARE - CAPS United captain Hardlife Zvirekwi is pleased to have finally had a proper off-season and pre-season ahead of the start of the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership campaign on March 10.

For the past two years, the utility player had got limited rest time due to his commitments with the national team.

Firstly, Zvirekwi did not get any rest after the end of the 2015 season as he went straight into the Warriors camp for the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) finals held in Rwanda.

Upon returning from the Chan finals, Zvirekwi went on to feature regularly for Makepekepe in a successful season in which they won the title after an 11-year wait.

The former Harare United and Gunners player did not have any time to put his feet up and celebrate the title win as he joined up with the Warriors ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.

Since Makepekepe were participating in the African Champions League, Zvirekwi did not have any down time once he returned from Gabon.

He would be instrumental in Makepekepe’s fine run in the competition where they reached the group stages at the expense of five-time African champions TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, fatigue took its toll on Zvirekwi’s body as he went on to miss a number of league matches due to persistence injuries.       

This time around though, Zvirekwi and CAPS’ schedules have been more relaxed with the five-time Zimbabwe champions enjoying more spare time. 

“Obviously I had some time off and I had an opportunity to recharge the batteries. I have also had time to spend with the family during the festive season; it’s been quite a while since I had time to rest and be with my family,” Zvirekwi told the Daily News.

“When you have an off season, you also want to have a pre-season. So far so good particularly for myself, I have been working hard.

“I have a standard of fitness that I have set for myself so I need to maintain or make it better. The off season has been great for me thus far, I think we are getting there and as a team, we are now taking shape.”

Zvirekwi hopes to stay injury free this upcoming season and help Makepekepe reclaim the title they lost to FC Platinum last season.

“I’m still working on my fitness. The pre-season training is the foundation of which your season is built on,” he said.

“The foundation that we are laying is good so far; the programmes the coaches have been giving me are good and I think I’m on track; I will pull through.

“With injuries sometimes, you don’t plan to get injured but physically, technically, tactically and mentally, I will be well prepared for the new season.”

The Green Machine eventually finished the season in fifth place last year after a punishing fixture schedule and in 2018 they are fighting only on the domestic front.

“The demands of last year considering that we were also playing in the Champions League were high,” Zvirekwi said.

“It’s not a relief that we are not playing in the Champions League this year though because as players you always want to play at the highest level.

“All the same though, the workload might seem to be low since we are playing in the domestic league alone, but the Premier League is not easy.

“Results do not come easy; you have to work hard for the points to come onto the table.”

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