Lowestoft Town FC players challenged during lockdown

Altogether now! The Lowestoft Town FC players celebrating a goal from earlier in the season - now th

Altogether now! The Lowestoft Town FC players celebrating a goal from earlier in the season - now they are taking on a series of squad fitness challenges. Picture: Shirley D Whitlow - Credit: Archant

Lowestoft Town FC players were hitting the bikes and embarking on long distance runs this week as they look to prepare for the return of football after lockdown.

With all matches from step three level and below now suspended until early December due to the latest government restrictions to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the Trawlerboys squad is taking on some “competitive” fitness challenges as part of their permitted exercise routines.

Having progressed in the FA Trophy for the first time in five years and started the Southern League Premier Central well, Lowestoft Town boss Jamie Godbold is intent on having his players “prepared” for when The Blues come out of lockdown.

He said: “We have to be prepared for when we come out of lockdown.

“More or less since the last game we have said to the players to keep yourselves ticking over fitness-wise.

“With regards to that, we have put the squad into teams and have set them a weekly challenge.

“This week – the first week – they have to complete a 20k bike ride and a 10k run.

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“Points are awarded for a certain time that they finish in, and while we are a few days in now the players have bought into it, and are fully focused on it as the times are shared in our group chat.

“It is about keeping that competitiveness, that togetherness to keep ourselves physically and mentally fit.

“In effect it is a bit like a mid-season break.

“We have started off the season pretty well and with the lockdown coming up as it did, we don’t want it to affect our form and our season.

“For us its about keeping the players in shape, for when lockdown ends we are straight back into it.”

Godbold admitted that with the latest lockdown due to end on December 2, it would mean that with the league season scheduled to resume – under the current government guidelines – on December 5 away at Alvechurch, the games “will be coming thick and fast.”

He said: “We might have one or two training sessions before we resume, but we can’t rely on that.

“The uniqueness of the season means its going to be tough in the league we are in.”

“We have a lot of travelling as it is and now that will mean, with a number of games to reschedule due to lockdown, we will have additional midweek games and so that will be challenging for the squad.

“Injuries wise we had Jack Wilkinson, Travis Cole and Adam Tann with problems when we went into lockdown.

“But now everyone should be available to return to the squad when we get back after lockdown.

“The loans of Levi and Colin should finish during lockdown, and we are keen to extend those, but obviously we will have to wait and see.

“We are really pleased for Levi as he made his first team debut for Ipswich in midweek, and it was also brilliant to see Malachi Linton making his first team debut as well for Wycombe.”