Shrewsbury Town settling in to their new routines
Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts has detailed how his squad are becoming accustomed to new-look training at Sundorne Castle.
Town players and essential staff were finally permitted to use the buildings at their Sundorne facility this week having been required to stay outdoors last week.
Shrewsbury are in phase two of the return to training due to the coronavirus pandemic. They have resumed contact training after spending last week in small groups while socially distancing.
But a normal training environment is still some way away, with players and staff wary of only so many people permitted in a single room.
Covid-19 testing is also taking place at the beginning of each phase of training. Town players will be tested again before their return to competitive action, which will be in the Carabao Cup on September 5 – unless the tie is brought forward to late August due to the international break.
But despite having to adhere to the strict protocols in place, Ricketts admits the return to training has been a relief to him, his staff and squad.
“It’s great to be back doing what we all love doing, whether that’s coaches or players,” Ricketts said via a videolink from Sundorne in yesterday’s press conference.
“Everyone was keen to get back to a form of normality. Everyone has probably appreciated the need for structure in their lives and doing what they enjoy.
“We’re living within restrictions, so many people per room, we’re allowed in the training ground (building) now whereas we weren’t last week in phase one.
“We’re still doing all the daily checks, and it will become the new norm I’m sure.”
Town beat Bala Town 3-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at AFC Telford on Tuesday. They play Nuneaton Borough next Tuesday before at least one more warm-up fixture, but details of which are remaining coy.
Testing has been relaxed from the level it was when the Premier League and Championship were completing their seasons, when players were tested twice per week.
Ricketts feels that there is a chance restrictions could be relaxed again in a month’s time, by which point his side will be back in competitive action.
The Welshman added: “Stage one was last week, everyone is tested within our bubble, it’s essential staff only. Everyone who enters the building is tested. We will get tested again next week and then before any competitive games as well.
“It has relaxed, when the Premier League and Championship finished their seasons they were tested twice per week.
“What happens in three or four weeks we’re not sure, it may be relaxed again. But now it’s testing at each stage and halfway through each stage.”