Mr Fit­ness keeps Downs on the up

Karate mas­ter KB Ran­goaga knows how to chop his Premier­ship play­ers into shape

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

He is usu­ally the first to ar­rive and the last to leave a foot­ball pitch, and is cred­ited with Mamelodi Sun­downs’ phe­nom­e­nal fit­ness lev­els.

Meet Mamelodi Sun­downs fit­ness trainer Ka­belo “KB” Ran­goaga, the unas­sum­ing spe­cial­ist who is em­bed­ded in ev­ery as­pect of phys­i­cal prepa­ra­tion and the con­di­tion­ing of coach Pitso Mosi­mane’s team.

Mosi­mane refers to the 34-yearold as “the team’s most im­por­tant mem­ber” and the “unsung hero” in the Brazil­ians’ tech­ni­cal staff.

“He is one of those who don’t get credit. KB runs the pro­gramme be­cause he de­cides when and how we should con­duct our train­ing ses­sions,” said Mosi­mane, who re­cruited Ran­goaga in Septem­ber 2014.

Mosi­mane be­lieves he has re­cruited a man with the know-how when it comes to elite per­for­mance.

The re­sults are in the mas­sive im­prove­ment in the team’s train­ing regimes, which re­flect Mosi­mane’s em­pha­sis on a high-tempo style of play and the abil­ity to last for the en­tire 90 min­utes of a game.

Ran­goaga’s sig­na­ture train­ing meth­ods in­clude high-in­ten­sity ses­sions that he con­ducts on match days, which he says are tailored for un­used sub­sti­tutes and play­ers who play for less than 30 min­utes on the day.

“The ses­sion is short, but it keeps all the play­ers on the same level of fit­ness, even those who are not reg­u­lars in the team,” he ex­plained.

De­spite his back­ground as an ac­com­plished karateka with six Karate World Cham­pi­onships gold medals, Ran­goaga and Mosi­mane have been on the same wave­length from the start.

The two met in 2010 dur­ing Bafana Bafana’s train­ing camps at the Royal Bafo­keng Sports Cam­pus, the base of Ran­goaga’s for­mer club Plat­inum Stars.

“I un­der­stand the coach’s phi­los­o­phy and I am able to get play­ers to their op­ti­mum per­for­mance to ex­e­cute the plan,” said Ran­goaga, who hails from Mosen­thal, a min­ing vil­lage out­side Rusten­burg in North West.

He stud­ied sports sci­ence and con­stantly at­tends in­ter­na­tional work­shops abroad to keep abreast of the lat­est trends in his spe­cial­ity. Ran­goaga was at Barcelona in Spain Mosi­mane has been af­forded the rare lux­ury of field­ing an al­most un­changed line-up for the bet­ter part of Sun­downs’ pur­suit of the Absa Premier­ship ti­tle.

“[Ran­goaga] has min­imised in­juries since he joined the club,” said the coach.

“I have fol­lowed KB from my days coach­ing Bafana. He showed in­ter­est in the phys­i­cal-train­ing job and he did well un­der a Dutch guy called Ray­mond Ver­hei­jen, one of the best in the world.”

Ver­hei­jen is a well-re­spected fit­ness trainer who made a name for him­self as a mem­ber of the coach­ing staff of na­tional teams at four World Cups and four Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships.

Ran­goaga first made his mark with Plat­inum Stars, a team he turned into the fittest in the league. They went on to win the MTN8 Cup and Telkom Knock­out three years ago.

“I joined Stars by chance af­ter I was called in to help to pre­pare the team for their friendly against Eng­land [the na­tional team] in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup. Ja­son Raine [Stars’ for­mer gen­eral man­ager] said I should name the prize af­ter­wards – to work with the team full time.”

A few years on, Ran­goaga has es­tab­lished good con­tact with clubs abroad, thanks to his an­nual pil­grim­ages over­seas.

He could in the end turn out to be Sun­downs’ best sign­ing in years.

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

MR FIT­NESS Sun­downs fit­ness trainer Ka­belo Ran­goaga has been cred­ited with the league-lead­ing team’s phe­nom­e­nal fit­ness lev­els. Here, he is tak­ing the squad’s re­serve play­ers through an in­tense train­ing ses­sion af­ter Sun­downs’ win over Or­lando Pi­rates in Soweto mid­week

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