The Star Late Edition

Ramadan helps Sundowns to focus on massive task ahead


MAMELODI Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has stated that arriving in Egypt during the Muslim holy of month of Ramadan has helped his team “maintain our focus” ahead of their all-important Champions League clash against Al Ahly tomorrow.

Having departed from OR Tambo Internatio­nal Airport on Tuesday, Sundowns arrived in Cairo on Wednesday at 3am via Addis Abba in Ethiopia.

Predominan­tly Islamic Egypt was still observing the last day of Ramadan, which requires Muslims to stay without food and drink for from an hour before sunrise to sunset.

The Egyptians celebrated the culminatio­n of a month long of fasting through Eid al-Fitr yesterday.

“The reception has been good. The weather has been accommodat­ing. It’s a very different climate coming into Egypt because the country is still going through Ramadan and there is not as much traffic during the day,” Mokwena said. “It's serene and gives a little more energy to maintain focus and understand that we are here to do a national assignment.

“The atmosphere is not as noisy as you would normally expect in Cairo. It’s good (as) it allows us to find our feet. Our mental stability and focus at this time is very good.”

After some rest and recuperati­on at the hotel, Sundowns had a training session on Wednesday that lasted until 10.30pm in a bid to rid the players of possible jet lag in preparatio­n for the big clash with the Champions League holders.

“We went to bed to get some rest and try to have a bit of control of the travel fatigue. (In) our training session we did a bit of activation from a technical perspectiv­e incorporat­ing a bit of injury prevention and have completed a light session,” Mokwena said.

“The team looks energised, focused, and they knows what we are here for. We want to try in every game and reflect the culture we have at Mamelodi Sundowns and the driving culture of that is our work ethic.”

 ?? BackpagePi­x ?? RHULANI Mokwena.
BackpagePi­x RHULANI Mokwena. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa