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PLAYERS PRIMED FOR PRE-SEASON RETURN

10 July 2020

Blues could begin preparations for new season by the end of the month

Town’s first-team squad are being primed for a return to pre-season training by the end of the month.

The players were last at Playford Road together on March 13 but manager Paul Lambert sent the squad home after the trip to Bristol Rovers was postponed as the Covid-19 pandemic started to take a grip in the UK.

The training base has been virtually empty since, with any meetings taking place via video links and the remaining eight games of Town’s 2019/20 campaign cancelled.

The EFL are said to be discussing a proposed start to the season at the end of August or mid September, with the latter looking the far more likely, especially when you consider that the current Championship fixture programme will not be finished until July 22.

The fixtures for the EFL are not expected to be released until a week or two after the Championship Play-Off final has been played on August 4.

Any return to training will be phased and be subject to strict guidelines that will see players initially train in small groups, arrive already in training kit and leave immediately after sessions have finished. No showers will be in use, no canteen area to be occupied.

Players will need to be tested twice a week for Covid-19 in line with Government requirements and social distancing will be in place.

“There is nothing concrete in place at all about when the season will start and how,” Town’s general manager football operations, Lee O’Neill, told the Club website.

“A couple of dates have been mentioned and we are putting the wheels in motion for the players to return towards the end of this month.

“Obviously we have to have everything in place to meet the guidelines and that presents challenges in itself but we will be ready to go.
 
“As and when football moves forward is still unclear though. We are waiting for clarity from the EFL and they will be waiting for clarity from the Government.”

   
     


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