Town ready to commence pre-season towards the end of July

Town players and Playford Road are primed and ready for pre-season training to commence at the end of the month.

Town, who last played at home to Coventry at the start of March, have not trained together since March 13, a day prior to the trip to Bristol Rovers and the eventually curtailment of the season.

The EFL have been in discussion with clubs and two dates were pencilled in for the start of the 2020/21 season, which could see the league campaign start next month.

The first possible restart date considered by the EFL is August 29, only a couple of weeks later than the original start date.

If that date is not feasible, the EFL have a back-up date of September 12, a date which has been in the pipeline for some time now and is our understanding of the preferred date amongst many clubs.

A meeting is due to take place (Monday 13th), where clubs will vote on their preferred starting date, with the September option most likely, especially if you factor that the Championship play-off final on August 4.

Whenever the Town squad return they will have to adhere by several new Covid-19 requirements, including small group training, limited facilities and being tested twice a week.

“There is nothing concrete in place at all about when the season will start and how,” Town’s general manager football operations, Lee O’Neill, told the Club website.

“A couple of dates have been mentioned and we are putting the wheels in motion for the players to return towards the end of this month.

“Obviously we have to have everything in place to meet the guidelines and that presents challenges in itself but we will be ready to go.
“As and when football moves forward is still unclear though. We are waiting for clarity from the EFL and they will be waiting for clarity from the Government.”

Elsewhere, former Town striker Brett Pitman has been released by League One rivals Portsmouth.

The 32-year-old, who scored 14 goals in 70 appearances for Town, joined Pompey in 2017 and scored 42 goals in 99 appearances during his time at Fratton Park.

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