Congested fixture list taking a toll on players’ – Buteme

By Allan Damba

Express FC fitness, strengthening and conditioning coach Hellen Buteme has warned that the crowded number of games is having adverse and devastating effects on the players.

The StarTimes Uganda Premier League and FUFA Big League players have had to deal with playing two and sometimes three games every week for the better part of the season.

The commencement of the Stanbic Uganda Cup last month did not save the situation with some teams forced to play every two days.

“It is always difficult when you have two competitions running at the same time. There is the Uganda Cup and the League,” Buteme told Football256.

“The coaches always want to put their best players on the pitch. Therefore you will find so many of them playing a lot continually which takes a huge toll on the body,” she added.

Given the narrow squads for most teams, they have had to suffer the consequences for it.

The strenuous schedule has taken a toll on their bodies as many have suffered fatigue related injuries whereas others cannot offer what their bodies could produce.

“They play a lot and do very intense training. This is because most of the players and their coaches are under pressure (to deliver). The results are the so many injuries,” Buteme continued.

Besides, Buteme added that most local clubs lack fitness, conditioning and nutritionists, something that affects them a great deal.

“The poor diet of most Ugandans, the poor conditioning where the body takes more load than it is supposed to, is another challenge.”

“Then, many teams do not know how to de-load which sometimes involves giving players a complete rest but that is not something that is done in Uganda.”

“The difference again is in how the teams in Europe structure their training and how they work with their strength and conditioning department.”

“Here we go 100% in training, there is no rest. There is no de-loading here. Players in Europe may play many games, but they are rested well after games.”

In Uganda, you will find the same eleven starting consecutive games unless a player gets injured,” asserted Buteme.

“So, you end up finding the same tired bodies on the pitch. And then, the players are not given complete rest, like a day off which they need.”

Several coaches have shown discontent over the compressed fixtures. Express FC coach Wasswa Bbosa perhaps more aware of the value of having a well-conditioned squad has more often decried the lack of sufficient rest between matches.

After falling at home to Express on Friday, Vipers SC head coach Fred Kajoba bemoaned the bumper schedule saying he cannot understand the need to play as many games in a period with few international games.  

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