By Edwin Kyle Kule
Express Football Club strength and conditioning coach, Hellen Buteme is pleased with the fitness levels of the players in the games played so far in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.
Buteme is quite a new name in the tales of football and rather familiar with Rugby but the ex-Lady Rugby Cranes coach has settled in quite seamlessly into her role at the Betway Muteesa II Stadium, and the club has started to reap from her work.
“I am pleased by the fitness levels and strength exhibited by the players in the four games we have played so far.” Buteme told the Express website.
“It hasn’t been perfect though I am going to make use of the break to work on the conditioning weakness that I have identified in each player.”
“Because I believe it’s the right time to build strength in players who picked up injuries so that by the time the league resumes next year, we have a fully fit team,” she added.
The Red Eagles’ appointment of Buteme on a two-year contract at the first of the season caused mixed reactions from football circles, but the strength exhibited by the players is enough to earn Buteme credit.
Buteme strongly notes that a good pre-season helped her and the coaching team to get the players ready for the bumper schedule that has seen the team play four games in two weeks.
Buteme explained how she managed to keep the players fit and ensure faster recovery between game.
“I have had to use ice bath sessions and self-mayo fascial release protocols on the players for recovery after the long trips like that to Arua and Mbarara.”
“With two games a week, it hasn’t been easy for players to have sufficient recovery and at the same time prepare for the next game but we are fortunate that we had a good pre-season so they are in great shape,” Buteme concluded.
Striker Eric Kambale covered the longest distance in their derby against SC Villa covering 11.71 km while forward Godfrey Lwesibawa topped the speed chart running 31.18 km/hr thanks to the strength and conditioning sessions held by Buteme.
Buteme has a Level B conditioning license acquired from the University of Leipzig. Express is positioned sixth on a 16-team log with eight points bagged from four games played. The Red Eagles will travel to the Arena of Visions, Ndejje to face URA FC when the league resumes in February.