Cape Town - Orlando Pirates have begun preparations for what will undoubtedly be a competitive second-half of the campaign for the Augusto Palacios-coached team.
With a current Premiership position of 10th, Pirates have plenty of work to do to get back in touch with the leaders in the South African top flight. They trail joint leaders SuperSport United, Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City by seven points.
Nonetheless, the Bucs have confirmed the team has returned to training with immediate effect.
"Pirates' first team players are due to report to training this morning to kick-start preparations for the new year. With the holiday season now over, it is time for the technical team to knuckle down to some serious business for the year ahead," a statement on the club's official website read.
"Head coach Palacios and his charges are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead following a poor ending to 2016, with two back-to-back defeats at the hands of Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic. The league is currently in recess for the whole month to accommodate for the African Cup of Nations tournament which starts in five days time."
The side's first test comes in the form of an away clash against Platinum Stars on 8 February in the Premiership.