Highlands zooming in on Absa Premiership resumption

Highlands Park head coach, Own da Gama

Highlands Park head coach, Own da Gama

by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE use of Zoom has recently been shrouded in controversy globally but that has not stopped Highlands Park embracing the video conferencing application as the club embraces technology in its bid to finish the Absa Premiership season in a respectable position.

Head coach, Own da Gama, disclosed the use of this technology by the side to keep communication between the technical team and players ongoing during the extended lockdown imposed by the government to bring the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The app thus enables the club to monitor that players comply with training regime the technical team has given them.

“Players have been given balls and equipment as part of internet training sessions,” da Gama said in an interview.

“We use the app (application) called Zoom for our training. We know of what each and every player is doing. This week will have tactical sessions on the internet with players,” the coach said.

Concern has been raised about Zoom’s privacy policy and security after its use gained popularity during COVID-19.

There have been reports that people’s video calls were leaked online, leading to companies globally dumping the app.

The Lions of the North are in eighth position with 31 points from 24 games.

Da Gama refused to set any targets when the league resumes depending on the COVID-19 subsiding.

“We will not be targeting any particular number of points to collect when the league resumes. Our focus will be to tackle each game as it comes. We have to respect our opposition, but our main aim is to win matches.”

Inconsistency has characterised Highlands’ season.

They managed to reach the final of the MTN8, which they eventually lost to SuperSport United. However, in the league a string of defeats threatened their top eight position and there were even reports da Gama would be sacked from his job.

He blamed injuries to key players as the reason the side conceded 31 goals, five more than they have scored.

“Most of the goals conceded against Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch (ten in the matches) were because most of our defenders were on the injury list. However, five games thereafter, we did not leak any goals,” da Gama said.

The lockdown has to an extent come as a blessing in disguise for the top eight hopefuls with the full recovery of key players.

These include marksman Peter Shalulile, captain Mothobi Mvala, Mlungisi Mbunjana, Makhehlene Makhaula and goalkeeper Marlon Heugh.

He also welcomed the return of veteran goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini.

“Tapuwa is the best distributor of ball in Africa. His return is definitely good news for Highlands Park. He is a true leader but there will be healthy competition in goal,” the mentor said.

However, the coach revealed that goalkeeper, Thela Ngobeni, striker Rodney Ramagalela and Ricardo Williams will miss the rest of the season through injury.

– CAJ News

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