Long before Walter Rautmann took up the coaching hot seat at Zulu Royals, the players knew that they would have to be ready for marathon training sessions.

No wonder Rautmann is referred to as "Mr Fitness".

But if there's one thing that Royals can learn from the coach, it's not about fitness but fighting spirit.

Royals will need an overdose of that ingredient if they are to pick up even a point away to Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday night. For just over a fortnight Rautmann has drilled his charges through sessions that often went up to three hours, sometimes even twice a day.

He is not the most celebrated coach, but he is still in the business these past 20 years and he never has to wait long to bounce back after a fall-out with a club.

That he is still pursuing a case for compensation from Black Leopards after their recent parting, shows that he never gives up a battle.

Royals might not always run the opposition off the park, but if they persist until the final whistle, they will always be in with a chance. From Rautmann's previous stint at the club in the 1998/99 season, only midfielder Mduduzi Nxele is still on the playing staff, while former defender Gavin Lane has graduated to team management duties.

Nxele is out ill but the return of captain Joe Bwalya from suspension will be a timely boost for the Usuthu defence. Big Nigerian striker Sani Adamu is still recovering from a groin muscle strain and should be ready for their home game against Hellenic on December 7, said Lane.

"Walter makes the guys work hard and I'm glad I'm not playing any more," joked Lane. "But seriously, that's the way it is. If you work hard at training then you play."

Despite the lengthy period of inactivity Royals have had a few players enjoying competitive outings. Malawian midfielder John Maduka and Congolese goalkeeper Old Itoua represented their national teams recently.

Kaizer Chiefs and Wits University resume their battle at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday night in the replay of the teams' rain-ruined Coca-Cola Cup semi-final over the weekend.

This week's programme

Wednesday night - Coca-Cola Cup semi-final: Kaizer Chiefs v Wits University (FNB Stadium, 8pm)

PSL: Ajax Cape Town v Zulu Royals (Newlands Stadium, 8pm)

Friday - PSL: Jomo Cosmos v Silver Stars (Makhulong Stadium, 8pm)

Saturday - PSL: Kaizer Chiefs v Dynamos (FNB Stadium, 6pm), Black Leopards v SuperSport Utd (Thohoyandou Stadium, 4pm)

Sunday - PSL: Hellenic v Santos (Athlone Stadium, 4pm), Sundowns v Moroka Swallows (Odi Stadium, 4pm), Wits University v Manning Rangers (Bidvest Stadium, 4pm), Golden Arrows v Orlando Pirates (King's Park Soccer Stadium, 3.45pm)

First Division

Weekend results: Park Utd 0 Rainbow Stars 0, Vasco Da Gama 2 FC Fortune 2, Premier Utd 3 Durban Stars 1, Uthukela 1 Basotho Tigers 1, Blackburn Rovers 0 Avendale Athletico 1, Bush Bucks 4 Maritzburg City 0, Maritzburg Utd 2 African Wanderers 1

Weekend Programme

Saturday: Basotho Tigers v African Wanderers (Vryburg Stadium, 3pm), Rainbow Stars v Blackburn Rovers (Adcock Stadium, 3pm)

Sunday: Maritzburg City v Uthukela (Harry Gwala Stadium, 3pm), Avendale Athletico v Premier United (Pinelands, 3pm), FC Fortune v Park Utd (Wynberg, 3pm), Durban Stars v Bush Bucks (King Zwelithini Stadium, 2pm) and Vasco Da Gama v Maritzburg United (Parow Park Stadium, 3pm)