Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has said the team is ready and confident for the English Premier League season to restart.
Premier League teams have reportedly given their approval to begin contact training as England move a step forward in resuming its top-tier football league. All football in the country has been suspended since March due to coronavirus pandemic.
As per a report in Sky Sports, Premier League clubs have voted unanimously to approve a return to contact training when safe to do so. The report also stated that clubs will meet again on Thursday to chalk out contingency plans in case season had to be called off.
“I think everyone feels really safe at our training ground because the club has gone to huge lengths to make it that way, and everything has been followed to the letter. We’re even more excited because we feel ready and confident for the season to restart,” English full back Shaw was quoted as saying by Manchester United’s official website, manutd.com.
“It’s been great to have the ball at my feet again, but to be honest every aspect of it has been enjoyable. Just getting back to training, being back on our own pitches, being in our own training kit… it feels like things are moving forward. We all missed the ball a lot, but I think it’s more that we missed being together. Everyone’s here now, even the lads who have been out injured for a long time, and it feels great,” he added.
The players returned to individual and small group training last week as officials continue to target mid-June as a possible return date for resumption of matches.
“At first we were in groups of four, with the players picked at random. It had nothing to do with positions, it was just totally randomised, given a time slot and we all did the same sort of training,” said Shaw.
“It was physically hard going, then some ball work to get us used to the work again and of course some running. The last few days now have been more position-specific. It’s still a set number of people in your group, but a bit more focus on working on your position, so obviously full-backs and centre-backs doing ball work together in my case,” he explained.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill and the sporting arena is no exception. Most of the high profile tournaments including the Tokyo Olympics 2020 stand postponed.
Even the biggest cricketing spectacle on the planet, the Indian Premier League (IPL), stands suspended indefinitely owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, Bundesliga became the first high-profile sporting event to resume after a 65 day period with almost no sporting activity.
The move comes after governments are beginning to realise that the coronavirus is here to stay for quite some time and sports among other businesses will need to find a way to co-exist with it.
The virus has already infected close to 5.5 million people around the world while claiming over 3.5 lakh lives. There is still no sure shot treatment of the disease and social-distancing, self-isolation and maintenance of basic hand hygiene remain the only potent weapons of protecting oneself from contracting the infection.
(With inputs from IANS)