Dave Challinor Blog: Wednesday 18th March

Dave Challinor, Yeovil Town v Hartlepool United

Hello everyone and welcome to my first Blog here on the Official Website.

My plan is to write a piece each week to keep you all up to date on what is going on at the Club on the football side of things and ensure you are all involved as we make progress back towards playing again.

I suppose one of the biggest issues at the moment, going alongside the overall concern, is the uncertainty. It’s difficult to know what we can expect next in this country and across the world.

From our perspective, all you can do is plan based around the information and advice you have and what might happen further down the line once we’re all more comfortable. The uncertainty means that our decision-making is very reactive.

We have put a plan in place around training continuing as best as possible, knowing that eventually there has to be a chance that the country could be placed under lockdown like we’ve seen in other places around the world. Things are developing hourly so you have to be ready to change.

We made the decision after Tuesday’s training session that we would send the lads home. They have sessions to be getting on with and we can monitor them doing that via an App we have so that will take them through the weekend, though we had always planned to be off Thursday to Monday anyway. We can assess where we are after that.

We’ve worked hard to get the players to the physical levels they are now, we’ve pushed them every single week and used the GPS monitoring as our guide for training. From that we have had no muscle injuries which has been really pleasing but we have to plan for games to restart from 4th April until we’re told otherwise. Whether that happens or not we’re unsure, but we have to keep the players physically safe so that, when we do come back, we don’t lose people to potential muscle injuries.

We had an in-house game among the squad on the pitch at Victoria Park on Tuesday. Ideally, we would have played against another club but obviously the situation dictates that it was impractical and playing it at The Vic meant we had full control over the environment and what the players come up against.

It was important to get game time for the likes of Lorne Bickley and Michael Raynes, who has been back in training with us after a thigh injury but it’s now time to try and get him back to where he needs to be physically to play games and what he does in a match situation.

We did four 15-minute blocks really and I was in control of the watch so was able to stop it when the ball went out of play and that meant we were able to get more or less a match load out of them, collectively and individually, during the course of the session.

We’ve giving the responsibility to the players now and we need them to be responsible and professional during this uncertain period. We have gone through the NHS and Government guidelines and given them the three sessions to do while they’re away from us so hopefully they all do that diligently and safely. We trust them to do that until we see evidence to the contrary!

From a wider perspective, it’s quite a strange scenario for me. As much as you want to be around, I am an asthma sufferer myself so perhaps at a greater risk than some other people at this moment in time.

The situation is so weird and unlike anything else any of us have ever been through though and you just hope that everybody stays as safe as possible and this virus can pass by quickly and cause as little damage as possible. It feels almost like being in a film right now, it’s all surreal so we can only cross our fingers, look after each other while we make the best of the horrible situation we find ourselves in.

In terms of passing the time, I am not sure what I am going to do. I guess there will be a lot of watching television, films and things like that. I will try to read some books and do some CPD work from a management and coaching point of view.

Other than that, I am actually just about to stick Netflix on now – I am watching 6 Underground at the minute. However, I need to find a series I can really get my teeth in to so if any Pools fans have good suggestions then I am all ears!

Keep safe, everyone – I will be back with another update soon.

Dave.