Football clubs are finding life to be a little different, just like the rest of us, to say the least.
In terms of an end to the Corona Virus, there is very little news on this that you can’t see on the news every night. In terms of football resuming though, talks continue. The date of 30th April set by the Premier League and EFL in their meeting last week was only ever likely to be a staging point, a date from which further ideas and thoughts could be progressed from.
There now seems to be an idea that the season could resume at the start of June and perhaps be played to a finish in as little as six weeks, with games being played every day/evening if necessary to complete this. Whether these games will have crowds in the stadiums is, of course, an unknown quantity.
Football is an entertainment industry though and I can see that regular televised games over that short period of time would certainly give the sporting public a boost.
In the meantime though, what are the players doing? How are they keeping themselves fit and occupied?
It seems obvious to say but keeping levels of fitness, football fitness, is not going to be easy. I’ve read, for example, that Chelsea FC have delivered exercise bikes, of the type used at their training ground, to all players along with weights, skipping ropes and other gym type equipment.
Players that have a larger property, with a garden are turning their gardens into training pitches although that is not so easy if you live in an apartment. In those circumstances, Chelsea have instructed their players to find “quiet” areas to run and do sprints.
Nutrition is also key and Chelsea have ensured that fresh fruit and vegetables are being delivered to their players. After all, you wouldn’t put diesel in a Formula One car, would you?
There is no reason to suspect that Norwich City are doing anything dissimilar, with individual training programmes having been disseminated to their playing staff. There is also good reason to think that players should return to training, whenever that is, fully fit of any issues they had been carrying.
Todd Cantwell mentioned on social media on the morning of the cancelled Southampton game that he had a calf injury that would see him miss around a month, which is obviously no longer a problem. Long-term casualty, Timm Klose should also be fully fit, and the season may yet not be over for Onel Hernandez and Sam Byram. I remember Byram being spoken of being out until June.
Most teams are likely to have either full or nearly fit squads at the season’s resumption but who will be the best prepared, because surely no team will be match fit?
In other news, players and staff are telephoning elderly season ticket holders for a chat, just to see how they are doing and whether or not they need anything, which is a very nice gesture from the club.
My nanny just FaceTimed us to let us know she just had a phone call off Grant Hanley 😂😂 Good effort @NorwichCityFC 👏🏻
— Samuel Kemp (@samkemp21) March 24, 2020
Was a pleasure to speak to the older generation. It’s all love 💛💚 https://t.co/UDa5n8sNRB
— Todd Cantwell (@ToddCantwell_10) March 23, 2020
My Dad is 82 and self isolating. He has a season ticket at Norwich city sitting in the Jarrold stand @BenG0dfrey gave him a ring to see how he was. My Dad loved chatting to ‘Ben’ and this really lifted his spirits. Proud to be a @NorwichCityFC fan 💚💛
— stuart mckenzie (@stu290473) March 25, 2020
One other little bit of competitive sporting action though can be found in the shape of Todd Cantwell’s continuation in the “Ultimate Quaranteam” FIFA 20 tournament.
Todd is, as you may know if you follow him on social media, a fairly handy FIFA player and he is representing the club in this charity tournament. He has already beaten Fleetwood Town in the first round and last night he beat Stevenage in the second round with a last gasp Teemu Pukki winner to progress in the competition with a 3-2 victory. No word on who he will face next, yet.
— Todd Cantwell (@ToddCantwell_10) March 25, 2020
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) March 25, 2020