KLUB Kildare returned to training this morning at Tougher Park following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Under FAI directives, teams were able to return to the pitch from 15 June provided they adhere to strict guidelines.
Although back out out on the pitch, there is a very different feel to today’s training compared to their last session in early March.
Players entered the training ground using a one-way system and every player had their temperature checked and recorded before they went out onto the pitch. There are nine hand sanitizer stations around the ground which the players also regularly use under the watchful eye of Covid Compliance Officer Sandra Treacy.
“It’s certainly different but we’re just so happy to be back on the training pitch,” said Jamie Smith, Klub Kildare Director of Coaching.
Once on the pitch, it’s very different as well. Groups are restricted to 13 players plus two coaches and all drills are strictly non-contact.
“A lot of planning has gone into this and there were a few drills that I thought I would be able to use that I had to take out because they didn’t match the guidelines. We’ve been very strict with the lads and constantly remind them of their responsibilities around social distancing but they are just so glad to be back out kicking around a ball that they are willing to do whatever it takes,” Smith.
“We are lucky with the amount of space that we have here in Tougher Park and the number of quality coaches that we have so it’s no problem to have three groups training separately.
“Once training is finished, we’ll disinfect the footballs and the training equipment and start preparing for the lads to come back again tomorrow. You could see that some were a bit rusty when they came down this morning but they are great lads and worked really hard on their own to maintain their fitness during the strange times that we found ourselves in. They will be down here in Tougher Park every day this week and it won’t take them long to get back up to full speed,” added Smith.