Jun 5, 2019; York, Ontario, CAN; York 9 head coach Jim Brennan watches play against FC Edmonton in the second half of a Canadian Championship soccer match at York University Field. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports for CPL
York9 FC’s Jimmy Brennan: COVID-19 delay ‘guessing game’ ends with return to training
Marty Thompson, Digital Content Editor (@martythompson_)
“The main goal was to give our players a good base when we get the call to come back to training,” Brennan said. “We need to be ready to go straight into tactics. Last thing we would want is to not have enough time to prepare.”
York9 returned from pre-season training camp in Florida on March 14 and entered a 14-day isolation period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sure, two weeks of training at home is an easy proposition – naive as that thought appears in retrospect.
But, as Brennan points out, COVID-19’s indefinite hold on the CPL had limited him and his coaching staff from any training escalation – no periodized increase in training workload towards a goal.
“It’s a holding pattern, keeping them active until you can ramp them up. You can’t keep it like that. So you need to keep them managed, make sure they’re doing their runs,” Brennan stated.
“What you can’t do is bump up to a higher intensity.”
Despite the unusual lead-up, Brennan is content with this pre-season, saying players have been motivating each other through fitness tracking data. Word is midfielder Chris Mannella has been leading on their fitness tracker, not to say it’s a competition.
“We can see their fitness data, and the other players can, so we’re all pushing each other,” Brennan explained. “We’ve been working carefully with them every day, physios have been keeping in touch, sending in reports, they’ve been keeping on the programs.
“With our guys, I’m very proud of them. They’ve been very, very professional, handled themselves well, overall I’ve been very impressed. I think we’ve kept our guile and done our best.”
Like many, Brennan had been restless, yet ready, to take to the pitch, once cleared by governing bodies and regional governments.
“We just needed a date to bump up the intensity and, most importantly, see how far we need to go.”