Richmond’s Physical Performance Manager Peter Burge provides an update on the resumption of training at Tigerland following the two-month postponement to the AFL competition’s 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Procedures put in place for training return
“It’s called category B training and they’re in small groups of eight. We have six of those groups moving through the facility throughout the day, on-field, through the gym and other areas of the Club. They’re not actually here for a long period of time, but they’re able to do their on-field training, gym work, a little bit of recovery, and leave for the day.”
The plan for working with smaller groups
“We needed to come up with a system that allowed the most efficient way for them to train and get through what they need to through the day. And, being 43 players as well, how that impacts our staff over the day. But we’ve come up with a good system.”
The next stage with contact training being reintroduced
“It’s when the Federal Government actually gives it the okay . . . the State Government has. We’re just waiting on that from the AFL. That would be all 43 players training at the same time, but there still would be some other restrictions within the facility with small groups for the rest of the program. We’re still planning and waiting for the final tick off for that. The players also have to have their COVID testing done in the prior 24 hours for that to happen.”
Players’ isolation programs and their transition back
“They went really well with the programs. They were on an eight-week schedule from the last time we saw them. That was carefully mapped out with some adjustments along the way, based on the information from the AFL. We weren’t too sure when we would return, so we made some changes to that. The last part of their program was more football-specific training. They were doing sessions of up to two hours-plus, using the footballs and doing all sorts of relevant football actions, as we call it. And they did a really good job with that. We were trying to minimise the impact of them, when they return, getting sore or doing things they weren’t used to. The instruction was in their last three weeks they needed to simulate what we would be doing when we came back, so that the transition was seamless.”
Bachar Houli injury update
“He had a calf strain and missed the Carlton game (Round 1). He ‘rehabed’ for the next two weeks and was back into our full program, trained for the next five-six weeks at full intensity, and then had a small incident only two weeks ago in his program. It was not as significant as the first one. It’s the same area, but he was back running yesterday, and we anticipate him to be back training with the group some time next week. His chances for Round 2 are still quite good. But Bachar being his age, and with some of his recent history, we’ll have to assess where we’re at in the next couple of weeks when he resumes training . . .