Harambee Stars custodian Matasi calls for early preparations
Harambee Stars custodian Patrick Matasi has called for early preparations and numerous friendly matches before the team face Comoros in a crucial Group G 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier probably next month.
The fixture had been planned for March 25, but it was shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic. Confederation of African Football (CAF) is now looking forward to a possible return to action in October.
According to Matasi who has not played competitive football since March after he returned to the country from Ethiopia where he plies his trade with league giants St Georges, most of the national team players have not been playing regularly, after all sporting activities came to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Proper preparations is everything in football. Since many players have not been active for more than four months, we need early preparations and numerous friendly matches even against Kenyan Premier League teams.
Personally, despite training hard everyday to remain in a good shape, I lack match fitness,” Matasi told People Sport from his farm in Malava.
He added: “I talked to my club bosses at St Georges on Saturday about the current situation in regards to sports in Ethiopia, and they told me the local Football Association had planned for a meeting on Thursday (today), to discuss a possible resumption of football without fans in the stadia, so that we can proceed for pre-season, so I’m waiting for their feedback.”
Stars need to win their next match against group G leaders Comoros, to increase their chances of qualifying for the next continental showpiece.
Currently Comoros lead the group on four points from two matches after stunning Togo 1-0 in Lome and sharing the spoils with giants Egypt at home in Moroni.
Stars are second in the group on two points, the same as third placed Egypt.
Matasi who has been spending his free time to improve his farm, urged other footballers to also think of life after football and invest their earnings.
“Every player has off season, so for my off season I decided that instead of going for vacation, I take time and attend to my farm and other investments.
Currently I’m doing livestock farming, sugar cane farming and maize and beans farming,” he told People Sport.