Phete: How we train under lockdown

SA Players Abroad

With football set to return in Portugal's top flight next month, Belenenses star Thibang Phete has revealed how he and his teammates are training ahead of the league's resumption.

The Kimberley-born defender was one of the club's star players before the Primeira Liga was suspended in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, and recently admitted he is itching to get back on the pitch when football returns.

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Belenenses have already resumed practice sessions ahead of the league's 4 June return date, and the 26-year-old took time out to explain how the club have approached their various training drills in light of the prevailing circumstances. 

"It's still distance training [training with social distancing measures in place] but we train in groups of like eight in the morning and eight in the afternoon, so it's not quite like your normal training session where we train together with all of the guys," Phete tells

"It's more physical [conditioning] and on the tactical side, we do it more without the ball. Like, they would call only the defenders to come in and then we'd do movements without the ball."

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More than two months have passed since Belenenses' last competitive match, but Phete dismisses suggestions that fitness will be an issue for him and his teammates when they return to the pitch.

"I think my team is in good shape because we haven't really stopped training," he explains.

"They gave us a programme and we've been doing it online and through videos, so I think the fitness won't be a problem. The problem will be more on the game and the rhythm of the game. I think that could be a challenge for all of the teams."

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