The first week of training after the coronavirus outbreak, which has necessitated working in reduced groups, is almost at an end. On Saturday, the four groups each have a session to carry out at different times, before being given Sunday off for a well-deserved break. For Oliver Glasner, it has been a positive experience despite the unusual circumstances. “It’s worked very well overall. The players went about it with plenty of enthusiasm and a lot of discipline. They wore gloves, disinfected their hands and kept their distance from one another,” the VfL head coach said.
“Still having fun”
The reduced groups met throughout the week at four time slots spread out throughout the day to work on fitness only. Ball work was off the agenda but the Austrian was pleased with the result nevertheless. “We managed to do what we were expecting to do. Obviously we are all desperate to get out onto the pitch with the ball but that’s just not possible at the moment, so what it was and will continue to be all about is building up physical strength, so that the players can maintain their fitness for the day when we can get back out there with the ball and start preparing for matches again,” said Glasner, who has been working with his staff to make sure that the training programme has lots of variety.
“They’re still having fun even in small groups, despite the fact that the atmosphere is obviously a little different from regular team sessions. Our fitness coaches are very creative, though, and keep coming up with new things, with competitive elements added in. I’m really pleased with the way things are working in the circumstances that we currently have. It’s an unusual situation for everyone and we’re trying to make the best of it, both here and on a personal level.”
“Really well organised”
The players also seemed to be getting to grips with the arrangements put in place by VfL. The four groups use different changing rooms, the sessions take place at different times, and there are sanitiser dispensers where the players change and train. “It’s all really well organised,” said Admir Mehmedi. “We come to training, get changed separately, train, shower and then drive home again. The club has really done everything they could to make sure that we are protected as much as possible.” The midfielder did, however, take a little while to get used to training in reduced groups. “It’s obviously nice when you get to see your teammates and have a chat with them, so it’s weird that we don’t all get to see one another. There’s definitely something missing.”