Famed fitness instructor, Leonard Akoto has called on football club administrators to place premium on players’ welfare to make players well placed to play for a long time.
To this end, he also admonished football players to be particular about stretching and warm-ups before stepping out onto the field.
The ex-Asante Kotoko fitness gaffer made the call during a radio interview with Charles ‘Layers’ Frimpong of Dunkwa-based Solar FM on Sunday afternoon during a discussion on players’ injuries.
“Education on stretching and warm-ups is very important but most actors in the game, especially in Africa pay little attention to it”,he said.
“In Africa, the resources and facilities to train with are virtually non-existent or are taken for granted, hence needless injuries to players.
“I will urge everybody to pay attention to this aspect of fitness to prolong their playing careers”, he advised.
“I would also like to recommend at least mobile stretching or a two-minute warm-up, which is not expensive, for footballers to keep them in shape before they step onto the pitch to play”, he stressed.
Mr. Fitness, as he is affectionately called on football administrators to prioritize players’ diet among others to ensure players stay in top shape in the sport.
“What players eat and the time the eat are very essential to players’ performances and so club administrators must ensure that players don’t eat anything at all, especially before match days. They also have to ensure that the playing surfaces are in tiptop shape to keep injuries to players at bay.
“They should ensure that they engage professional medics and physical trainers to work with players. Unlike Africa, where coaches are of significance to clubs other than medics and physios, the reverse is the case in Europe”, he lamented.
Leonard Akoto was until the appointment of Portuguese trainer, Mariano Barretto, the physical trainer of Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
By Charles Frimpong