SAINTS: Both the men’s and women's South Burnett Saints AFL team are back training under new coronavirus guidelines. (Picture: File)
SAINTS: Both the men’s and women's South Burnett Saints AFL team are back training under new coronavirus guidelines. (Picture: File)

Saints return to training under new COVID guidelines

UNDER strict new coronavirus guidelines, the South Burnett Saints have been allowed to return to training ahead of a July 11 season start date.

Players can train in groups of 20, with the field being sectioned off into thirds, with one group of 20 allowed in each third.

Players must sign in on arrival, maintain 1.5 metres at all times and avoid contact until further restrictions are eased.

Saints game day coach Andrew Foley said it was fantastic to be back training as a group.

“It’s been 23 years since I last coached a side on Lyle Vidler and I know both sides are looking forward to being back,” Foley said.

“The new guidelines have split the field up into three zones with 20 players permitted in each, which means we can’t do any contesting work or any tackling.

“Despite having to stay 1.5 metres apart, this first session is more about seeing where everyone is at in terms of their disposal skills.”

The Darling Downs AFL competition has proposed July 11 as the start date with an eight round home and away season scheduled.

Saints captain Brad Pressnell said although it was challenging being apart from the team, most players kept in shape.

“It’s good to be back training as a group again, I got sick of running around the roads all the time,” Pressnell said.

“Staying motivated to train was one of the biggest challenges with being separated from the group as it’s so easy to get home from work and just do nothing.

“We had set a 1000km challenge for the month of May and it was up to the individual to keep on top of their training.”

A month out from the first bounce, Foley said he was confident heading into the season.

“We finished last season on a high and we have a pretty good list at the moment,” Foley said.

“I don't see any huge deficiencies in any areas, however we need to best 22 from the South Burnett to commit to the shortened season.

“If everyone commits to both home and away games for the full season we have as good a chance to get the premiership as anyone.”

The South Burnett Saints train at 5.30pm Tuesdays and Thursday nights at Lyle Vidler Oval, Kingaroy.