Finally, fans of the English Premier League can embrace the glamour that the game brings after much anticipation for the resumption of the League that was suspended due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Report reaching National Daily can confirm that the ‘Project Restart’ of the EPL has enjoyed a major boost after the Premier League clubs unanimously voted to resume contact training.
The players and managers from the 20 top-flight clubs were briefed on the proposals for the reintroduction of contact training on Tuesday after starting with small, socially-distanced training National Daily can further learnt.
The matter was voted on the following day by Premier League shareholders and has been given the green light as a mid-June return edges closer.
A statement said: “Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so.
“Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.
“The Premier League’s priority is the health and well-being of all participants.
“Strict medical protocols are in place to ensure the training ground is the safest environment possible and players and staff will continue to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.
“Stage Two of the Return to Training protocol has been agreed following consultation with clubs, players, managers, the PFA, LMA and the Government.
“Discussions are ongoing as work continues towards resuming the season, when conditions allow.”
It has emerged meanwhile that the Premier League has held talks with sports technology company STATSports to help shape training sessions ahead of the move to contact training.
Before now, clubs have been active with non-contact training in small groups but are preparing to move to the next phase.
Interestingly, STATSports technology is able to provide data on the movement of players and how often they come into contact with each other, enabling clubs to assess the risk of different aspects of training.
National Daily further gathered from Daily Mail that the co-founder of STATSports Sean O’Connor has evaluated the contact training procedure.
“We looked at pre-Covid sessions and imagined a two-metre circle around someone’s feet.
“You can then evaluate how many times players incurred on other players. So, looking at pre-Covid, we had an average of just over three seconds.
“People did not realise it was that low. We published a white paper and let the Premier League know what we were doing and they were really excited as it gave them the black-and-white data to come up with a phased protocol for training.
“So they can understand the effects of the session and how they can have a positive training session that is influencing tactically, physically and also safe.
“What we were able to do was work with the Premier League and looked at specific drills pre-Covid and worked out which types of drills will have higher incursions.
“It is things like water breaks when players stand chatting next to each other. The average time was three seconds pre-Covid including water breaks and tactical drills, including small-sided games.
“We took the approach of taking out factors that increase the chances so we will see an even lower number of incursions.”