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Football | Nedbank Cup

Ernst Middendorp © Backpagepix

Maritzburg tripping to beat altitude



Maritzburg United have scuttled plans to stay over on the Highveld after their Nedbank Cup tie at the weekend because they seek to beat the effects of altitude.

The KwaZulu-Natal side met Mamelodi Sundowns at Atteridgeville on Saturday in the first of the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals and then three days later are in Polokwane for a match-up with Kaizer Chiefs in the league.

The club had considered staying over between the two matches, moving from Gauteng after Saturday’s game tie and traveling onto Polokwane.

But they believe spending as less time as possible on the Highveld, and thereby countering the effects of the high altitude, better serve their chances in both matches.

Maritzburg’s coach Ernst Middendorp has decided the team will not go on a long road trip but instead go home after their cup tie and then fly again on Monday for Polokwane.

Club spokesman Younus Kadodia says they have found the thin air does not affect their players as much if they travel up to altitude less than 24 hours before the match.

“Sometimes we have even gone up to Jo’burg on the day of a match, leaving early by plane, resting in the hotel and then playing our match,” he told www.supersport.com.

It has long been the case that clubs traveling from their bases at sea level or a low altitude get tired quicker when they play in Gauteng and Limpopo provinces.

Medical specialists have, for years, said teams ideally need seven days at altitude before they are properly acclimatised but can beat the effects of altitude by arriving inside 24 hours of kick off.

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