Championship return edges closer as Middlesbrough players return to training

A return to action in the Championship is edging closer with the Middlesbrough squad back in training.
Jonathan Woodgate manager of Middlesbrough.Jonathan Woodgate manager of Middlesbrough.
Jonathan Woodgate manager of Middlesbrough.

Premier League clubs returned last week to do training sessions in small groups under strict conditions and today was the return of the Championship teams.

The aim is to complete the 2019-20 campaign with hopes the action could restart in the second tier by the end of next month, with the players in need of a few weeks training after a lengthy 10-week spell without football.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The EFL has provided clubs with detailed guidance on the measures they must put in place at the training ground in a bid to combat Covid-19, including staggered arrival times for players and training in small groups.

Other measures include no close-contact training at this stage, sessions lasting no more than 75 minutes with individually allocated equipment, all of which is thoroughly cleaned regularly.

All Championship players and members of backroom staff were tested at the end of last week and the results all came back negative at the Riverside to allow training to restart.

Plans to restart the Premier League and Championship seasons did move a step closer at the weekend after the Government published 'stage two' of its guidance which enables competitive and close-contact training.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Officials have stressed however that individual sports must review whether they have the ‘appropriate carefully controlled medical conditions in place before they can proceed’.

There will be further guidance from the EFL and PL in midweek.

The advice is geared towards establishing the conditions for stage three, which is expected to be achieved next month with a resumption of sports, including Premier League matches.

The guidance makes it clear that the close contact training for elite athletes can include close quarters coaching and tackling.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "This new guidance marks the latest phase of a carefully phased return to training process for elite athletes, designed to limit the risk of injury and protect the health and safety of all involved.

"We are absolutely clear that individual sports must review whether they have the appropriate carefully controlled medical conditions in place before they can proceed, and secure the confidence of athletes, coaches and support staff.”