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Preparing for intensity of games programme

Bradley Johnson says the players will need several weeks at Brockhall to hit full match fitness

18 May 2020

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Fresh from doing a Zoom workout with his Rovers team-mates, Bradley Johnson says the players will need several weeks back at the training ground before football fixtures resume.

The players are now entering their 10th week of training from home, following the announcement on March 13th that the 2019-20 season would be suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Having been given a three-week ‘off season’ period last month, in order to ensure the players remain refreshed both physically and mentally, the first team squad have spent the past fortnight adhering to a specific fitness programme from home, in readiness for a proposed return to Rovers’ Brockhall training base on Monday May 25th.

Johnson says the work the team have been doing remotely will stand them in good stead for when they are permitted to return to the Senior Training Centre, however he says the players will need a number of weeks to get fully up to speed.

“It was a good session,” said the Rovers midfielder. “Just a little Monday morning warm-up really.

“We’ve been doing them most mornings now for the last week or so, just to get us prepared for when we go back in.

“A few weeks back, as I think most clubs did it, we were given our three-week annual leave, so we were told just to rest and not do much.

“I wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing, I was still on my bike and still going out for runs, but just not at a high pace.

“And then after this holiday period, we were given a programme, which we started a couple of weeks ago, with a view to going back into training in the next week or so.

“Once we’re back in training, I think we’ll need two or three weeks, because the intensity of the games is high and you can’t just go straight from moderate training straight into games, where the demands and the physicality is a lot higher.

“We’ve had a couple of hard weeks to build into it, so hopefully when we do go back, we might need two or three weeks to get to match fitness.”

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Johnson says there is a collective desire from the Rovers squad to return to the training ground, but that eagerness is offset with a nervousness that there remains a risk.

“It’s all positive, but then in the back of your mind, everyone is still nervous,” added the 33-year-old.

“Everyone wants to get back. We’ve been off for a while now and everyone wants to get back to what we love doing and that’s playing football and football matches, but we know the risk that there is out there.

“You just have to look at the German league when they tried to go back, they had cases every week and players were testing positive, so we want to get back, but we want it to be right for us and our families.

“We want to get back out there playing, but we want it to be safe first and then go from there.”


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