Bloem Celtic turns to Bok guru for help
BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic has turned to Springbok fitness guru Derik Coetzee to get its players in ship-shape condition for the new season.
The Free State team started yesterday with work under the exercise professor at the Sports Science Institute in Bloemfontein. He trained the World Cup-winning Boks in 2007 and is helping to prepare the South African hockey side for the Olympics.
"I think it is imperative to have a strong aerobic programme at the beginning of the pre-season training," explained coach Clinton Larsen, who has turned to Coetzee for guidance.
"You must have a good base of fitness and endurance and that's what the first two weeks of our preparations are dedicated to."
Celtic tested all its players on the last day of the last season in May, and began with another battery of tests this week.
"The tests determined which of the players had done what they were supposed to do with their individual training programmes during the holidays and where we might need to adjust the individual sessions," said Larsen.
Celtic have a six-week training programme in place. After an intense fortnight with Coetzee, they will move to a training camp in Johannesburg, where they have lined up friendly matches against top-flight opposition.
In the final two weeks, Larsen will fine-tune tactical plans and the club will participate in other pre-season events, including two weekend four-team tournaments, before the MTN8 kicks off on the first weekend of August.
Larsen said he would like to settle his squad by the end of the month. The money from the sale of Mulomowandau Mathoho to Kaizer Chiefs means "we can get a better quality player".
Larsen added clubs like Celtic had to be realistic about the difficulty of keeping promising players like Mathoho on their books.