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Inverness Caley Thistle set to return to training


By Andrew Henderson

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Inverness Caledonian Thistle will return to training this week, but they will not be going back to normality.

Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness.
SCOTTISH CHALLENGE CUP - SEMI-FINAL.
Inverness CT(2) v Rangers Colts(1).16.02.20.
ICT manager John Robertson alongside assistant manager Scott Kellacher.
Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. SCOTTISH CHALLENGE CUP - SEMI-FINAL. Inverness CT(2) v Rangers Colts(1).16.02.20. ICT manager John Robertson alongside assistant manager Scott Kellacher.

Throughout lockdown Caley Thistle’s players have played tennis and golf, went hill-climbing and cycling, and also attended yoga sessions to stay active and healthy.

The first football sessions back will be something of a transition too, as Covid-19 guidelines mean that it will not be their usual beginning to pre-season, with temperature checks in place and squad members needing to self-declare that they are feeling healthy.

It has been six months since the players last kicked a football for the club, so precautions will be put in place to guard against injuries.

“We’ve lined out boxes with three metres in between, a rehab area away from that, and we’ve marked out a goalkeeper’s area,” manager John Robertson explained.

“They will have to arrive in two separate groups and train at different times.

“Then we’ve got to get the technical side of the game going, because the big worry is that the players haven’t kicked a football for over six months. That’s the one thing you can’t keep ticking over.

“You can keep physically fit, you can keep your core fitness up and go running, but their muscles aren’t used to kicking a football.

“Looking down south, we’ve got a lot of data that shows more muscle strains and pulls, more tissue injuries than normal, and they were only off for three months.”

There will be other factors to account for in the pandemic era of football, with some practical questions still to be answered too.

“How are we going to get players to away games?” Robertson added.

“Do we take one bus or two buses? You’ve got to have the players socially distanced, which due to our location could be problematic.

“For teams in the central belt, players can quite easily drive in their own cars, but I think it’s asking a bit much for our players to be driving five or six hours sometimes.”

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