Ipswich Town players set to return to training next week

Ipswich Town players are scheduled to return to pre-season training this week. Photo: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town players are scheduled to return to pre-season training this week. Photo: Ross Halls - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town players are set to return to training next week in preparation for the 2020/21 season.

Last summer, Town players have seven weeks off before returning for a six-week pre-season programme.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the players will have been out of action for 19 weeks. Starting pre-season training on Monday would give them six to eight weeks to prepare for the League One start dates which are being discussed – August 29 and September 12, with the latter looking much more likely.

EFL discussions around training protocols, Covid-19 testing and the start date for 2020/21 will continue next week.

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“The players will have been out for almost 20 weeks, so that’s like coming back from a serious injury really,” said Lee O’Neill, the Blues’ general manager of football operations.

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“Pre-season is normally six to seven weeks. On average you need 40+ days to really condition to the right level. Every player is different though - some need more than that, some only need half that time.

“We’re having conversations with clubs about friendlies at training grounds.”

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The EFL have published a ‘protocol for return to first team training’ which is spilt into different phases.

Phase one starts with players training in groups of up to five while keeping to social distancing guidelines, with phase two involving closer contact.

Town players will arrive at the training ground already changed into their kit with no use of dressing room or canteen facilities permitted.

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