Manchester United and our 19 Premier League rivals returned to team training this week after clubs and officials agreed to stage one of ‘Project Restart’ in Monday’s video conference.
These training sessions are to be non-contact with a maximum of five members per group and to last no longer than 75 minutes. The Premier League hopes to get the 2019-20 season restarted and completed over the summer after it was suspended on 13 March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Germany have led by example with the resumption of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga divisions over the past weekend, with the current schedule to get the season finished on the final weekend of June. Any Premier League resumption would be around that date, with the original date of 12 June that was earmarked, now looking too soon.
Harry Maguire has now revealed Manchester United’s new training regime that follows the social distancing and health and safety measures put in place. The centre-back praised the safe environment in an interview on the club’s official website, but referred to it as ‘strange’.
The England international admitted that players found the new training regime to be unusual as they look to build up their fitness levels. Maguire said:
“There’s slots all the way throughout the day, so some people will be in in the afternoon.
“There’s slots, I think every 30 minutes we have a different slot and each slot is taken by a different coach at the club. It’s obviously strange and something that we’re not used to, but at the moment it’s just getting the base fitness, the physical fitness and I think it’s good mentally as well to come into the training ground and get used to the surroundings again.
“We’re not in the normal training ground building, so we’re not in our own changing rooms. It’s literally we get to the training ground, we put our boots on, we go out on the field, we get in our cars and we drive home, so it’s more just getting the physical work in.”
Harry Maguire went on to say that the distancing between the players has killed the socialising and banter, adding:
“The socialising isn’t really there, so there’s no banter between the lads which I’m sure the lads are missing. But it’s nice to get the boots back on, put the training kit back on and get the balls out.”
Describing Wednesday’s training session, the £80 million signing of last summer said:
“Today we had a good warm-up, getting the joints moving again and good stretching.
“The last thing we want is to get injures so early on into building our fitness back up. We had a dribble track, where we were working around it continuously for two minutes. We did three blocks of that. We did a couple of passing drills, keeping a large distance between the lads. And we finished with some aerobic stuff, running across the penalty box which was tough.”
Players in Germany’s Bundesliga looked far short of their best when they restarted their league this past weekend after a two-month lay-off and five weeks of training.