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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, May 30th 2020

‘I’ve worked out and worked hard’ – Massengo

Moving from one country to another to play in one of the most competitive leagues is challenging enough without lockdown thrown into the mix.

But this presented Han-Noah Massengo with the chance to work on himself and use his time effectively in preparation for football’s hopeful resumption.

Pictures of the 18-year-old midfielder’s return to small group training this week show how he has been able to bulk up. Physicality is just one important aspect of the game, particularly for a teenager who has already competed in a number of duels and battles throughout the season so far.

So Massengo has been busy during lockdown, which he has spent in his Bristol flat alongside his brother, and he has had to keep a positive attitude while waiting for developments regarding the future of football.

“There was a lot of waiting for answers to our questions and then when we heard decisions were being delayed and we didn’t know when we could play football again, I knew it was time to buy things to help me work out from home,” Massengo explained.

“It gave me more time to focus on my strength sessions, I bought balls as well and I started working every day.

“I was trying to keep a routine because if I lost it I knew it would be hard to get back. I was waking up early doing my running and keeping to the club’s programme. I was focused on working my upper and lower body in the morning and in the afternoon I would get out to the training ground to kick a ball and work on my weaknesses, either alone or with my brother, for the hour we were allowed, so that was useful too," he said.

The driven nature of the former AS Monaco player who joined City last summer is clear to see. It’s down to both his own willingness to drive himself to be a better player, but he also works closely with the strength and conditioning staff.

Massengo said: “I bought a lot of equipment because I used to use the gym at the training ground. I spoke to Del (Derrick Bonsu) about what I can do to improve my body in lockdown and he issued me a programme to do. I was working five times a week on both my upper and lower body, something I had started before lockdown but not as much as I did in the last few months because during the season there are games and I wasn’t able to do as much.

“The programme is hard, intense and though I’m still the same body weight I have put on more muscle so it’s good.

“It was something I wanted to do, to improve myself physically. There are no magic tricks to improve, it comes down to work hard and that’s what I have done.”

Massengo joined his teammates in returning to small group training on Monday (May 25th), where the players are routinely tested for COVID-19 and adhere to new EFL safety training protocols.

Players are now allowed to train at Failand, where the following measures are in place:

  • Players and staff attending training at Failand will be subject to an ongoing EFL designated COVID-19 testing programme
  • Players and staff will submit a health questionnaire and temperature reading remotely every morning before being permitted to travel to the training ground
  • Staggered arrival times to ensure social distancing
  • Designated and appropriately distanced parking spaces
  • A maximum of five players and a coach will be allowed to train on the same pitch at the same time, leaving the greatest distance as possible between them, which will be at least two metres
  • A one-way system to walk to and from the car park to training pitches
  • All players and staff using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser upon entering and leaving the training ground
  • Players and staff arriving in training kit and washing kit themselves at home each day
  • Any balls and equipment used being disinfected before the next player takes to the training pitch
  • Players and staff brining their own water bottles and supplement drinks to each session
  • Any injuries assessed without being touched and players sent home for further isolated treatment
  • Players returning to their respective cars immediately after their individual session has completed and head straight home, with no car sharing

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