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Johnson ‘buzzing’ as players return to Failand for small group training

Bristol City’s players have returned to their Failand training base for small group training sessions, in line with the EFL’s safety protocols.

The players and coaches have spent the lockdown period doing fitness from home with today (Monday, May 25th) the first time they were allowed to train and kick a football in small groups, all while observing social distancing, since the last match against Fulham on March 7th.

Training has resumed in line with EFL protocols with close contact scenarios such as tackling forbidden under present guidelines.

But Johnson highlighted his delight at getting to this point, as he continues to monitor the situation and plan sessions accordingly.

 

Speaking after the first day of sessions, Robins Head Coach Johnson said: “[I’m] absolutely buzzing! It was great to see everyone, and you do miss them. They are like the kids: ­­they are young, vibrant, athletic, committed and they are a team. That’s something you all want to be a part of is the camaraderie that comes in a team environment.

“They have been excellent off the pitch in this spell: they have maintained their fitness, their mood at a high level and we have been able to implement things we wouldn’t have been able to with the hustle and bustle of the Championship being Saturday-Tuesday.

“It’s definitely been a challenge and we’ve had time to plan but the goalposts have changed a lot, so what I may have written down for a session a couple of weeks ago has had to change three or four times since.

“This morning we had five groups in total, three groups of five and two groups of three. That was the outfield players and the goalkeepers worked individually with Pat Mountain,” he explained.

“It went well and the boys were in good shape so I was happy about that. The social distancing element isn’t easy, you have five players maximum and three coaches on a pitch. Even things like spitting, players spit because of the proteins which build in their mouths and they have to clear their airways so it’s important we stay clean and concentrated on protocol.”

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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