Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter

YOUNG Flying Stars director Collins Nyambiya fears that the long Covid-19 break will have psychological and physical effects on his young players.

Nyambiya’s academy enrolls football players from as young as five to 15 years. Since March, the academy has not had any football activity owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s now over six months since his players kicked a ball and Nyambiya is worried about the effects of the lengthy period of inactivity.

“The first months of the lockdown we encouraged our players to do individual work at home. However, the break has gone beyond the expected time phrame and it is now difficult for us to monitor them since we don’t meet as a team.

This long break is likely to affect their fitness and mentality,” said Nyambiya.

“We do discuss our football business on our WhatsApp group and always get pictures from players to see how they look and I also do rounds visiting them at their homes,” he said.

Nyambiya, himself a former player, quit the game in 2010, having turned out for Railstars, Ziscosteel and Shabanie Mine.

He also had a brief stint in Albania with F.C Bylis.

He also shared a bit on how football could re-start for academies.

“Emphasis should be on individual technique development training in grids/ stations. Each station will focus on different objectives and goals. We should re-introduce football in phases.

The first one is individual training, second phase, small groups training and finally third phase, the whole team.

“No fans at training session. Parents escorting their children must also be sanitised, and temperature checked and always keep a safe distance between them. Everyone attending sessions must answer a questionnaire on Covid-19 symptoms and anyone showing even slight flu symptoms must not be allowed at training venues.

“Covid is here for a while and we should just adapt than to totally shut down sports that always assisted in keeping people fit and healthy. If gyms have opened, I don’t see any reason why football mustn’t resume since it’s played outdoors,” said Nyambiya.