QLD_CM_SPORT_NRL_BRONCOS TRAINING_06MAR20
QLD_CM_SPORT_NRL_BRONCOS TRAINING_06MAR20

Footy’s back but not as we know it

No supporters. No blaring pump-up music. No full squad training.

It was a very different training session at Red Hill for Brisbane's first day back from 48 days in isolation - but in some ways, it was comforting to watch.

It meant the footy is on its way back albeit with a different feel about it all.

A cage of temporary fencing wrapped around the $27 million Clive Berghofer Centre training facility on Wednesday to keep the players in - or people out, whichever way you looked at it.

With the entire league now restricted by tough new biosecurity guidelines, the Broncos first day back at training was unlike any they've experienced before.

 

Anthony Seibold prepares for an unusual training session. Photo: Liam Kidston
Anthony Seibold prepares for an unusual training session. Photo: Liam Kidston

 

 

 

The players had to keep their distance. Photo: Liam Kidston
The players had to keep their distance. Photo: Liam Kidston

 

For example. Minutes before training was scheduled to start, a "perimeter check" was undertaken by the club's head of football Peter Nolan, welfare officer Adam Walsh, and a man simply known as "Matt" - the COVID cop employed to ensure all new biosecurity measures were adhered to.

Those measures include training restricted to just groups of 10 - nine players and a coach.

And so, instead of the whole squad running out of the gym together to kick and pass the footy, seven members of the backline and two backrowers emerged in Training Group A.

With the limited numbers, coach Anthony Seibold and the rest of the Broncos staff had to get creative for the boys' first day back on the paddock - and they did.

After a quick passing drill, the boys moved on to a game of catch, involving a tennis racket and ball to test their reflexes.

 

 

Matt the “COVID cop” adviser walks the training field. Photo: Liam Kidston
Matt the “COVID cop” adviser walks the training field. Photo: Liam Kidston

 

From there, they moved over to a different section of the field to play a game of Oztag.

And luckily the Broncos aren't fielding a team in the National Oztag League - as captain Alex Glenn realised.

"Honestly, it was half the fun today because we had the Oztags out," Glenn said afterwards.

"It was really weird to be honest.

"It opened our eyes to how terrible we are at playing Oztag (because) we struggled to pull the tags from each player.

"It added to the chaos of the morning."

 

The players have to adjust to the new restrictions. Photographer: Liam Kidston
The players have to adjust to the new restrictions. Photographer: Liam Kidston

 

Even the media had to watch from afar. Photo: Liam Kidston
Even the media had to watch from afar. Photo: Liam Kidston

 

 

For 48 days, the players were cooped up at home, working out in their makeshift gyms in garages and backyards.

Yesterday, was their first time back together training as a group and you could sense their enjoyment of being back with each other.

Even without the usual fanfare, training drills or loud music - onlookers had the reassuring feeling that the NRL is well and truly on its way back.


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