‘Hopefully we’ll have a few pre-season games soon’ – Sears on return to training

Freddie Sears, pictured back in pre-season training with Ipswich Town. Photo: ITFC

Freddie Sears, pictured back in pre-season training with Ipswich Town. Photo: ITFC - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town striker Freddie Sears is hopeful the team will be able to play a few pre-season games soon following their long coronavirus enforced break from football.

The Blues’ last game was back on March 7, a decision to end the League One campaign was finally taken in early June, with Paul Lambert’s squad returning to Playford Road last week in preparation for the 2020/21 season starting on September 12.

For now, the Town players are operating at phase one of Covid-19 training protocols. Arriving in their own kit, working in small socially distanced groups and having no access to facilities such as dressing rooms, showers, the gym, or canteen means the club does not have to pay out thousands of pounds a week for coronavirus tests.

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“It’s been different,” Sears told the club website. “I’ve never had anything like this in my career before where you train in groups of seven or eight.

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“It’s been different but it’s what you’ve got to go by at the minute. We’ve been doing a lot of running and ball work. It’s been enjoyable and it’s been tough as well.

“It’s really good to be back. We’ve been off for a long time. It’s good to see all the boys and the staff.”

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The 30-year-old, who only returned to action following a long-term knee injury at the start of 2020, continued: “It’s been difficult for every player. The last game was in March. The dates kept going back and back and then obviously the season got cancelled. It’s disappointing but we’re looking forward to getting going and starting again next season.

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“It’s still quite early. A lot of teams probably aren’t back yet. It’s been good to get back and get into the non-contact stuff. Hopefully we’ll have a few pre-season games soon and will be back to playing football and doing what we love doing.”

It’s understood that several clubs have contacted Ipswich to show interest in playing friendly matches. Those warm-up games will almost certainly take place behind-closed-doors at training grounds a little further down the line.

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