AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper coach Neil Moss is looking forward to welcoming back Aaron Ramsdale when contact training starts ahead of the resumption of the Premier League’s games programme.
Moss and his team of goalkeepers have been working in a small group since stage one of Project Restart commenced 12 days ago.
Players have been allowed to train in groups of no more than five while following strict protocols implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact, with the season due to restart on June 17th.
Players and staff will continue to be tested twice a week for COVID-19 with Ramsdale having been given the all-clear to resume training after self-isolating following his positive test at the end of last week.
Discussing the past few days and giving an update on Ramsdale’s condition, Moss told afcb.co.uk: “We have been speaking to him every day to make sure he’s okay.
“He’s been very upbeat. He hadn’t had any symptoms until the day before he was diagnosed and it came as a big shock to him and everybody else.
“He had been working very hard and had had no ill-effects from the first few sessions.
“We’re delighted he received a negative test and look forward to having him back with the group when he feels ready.”
Brilliant news 🙌— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) May 30, 2020
Cannot wait to have you back Rambo ❤️ https://t.co/rUw5XqHX0U
In Ramsdale’s absence, Moss and assistant Anthony White have been working with Artur Boruc, Mark Travers and Will Dennis.
“It’s been strange because we are separate,” said Moss. “We have been training in small groups and one of those groups has been the goalkeepers.
“The keepers are filtered into one of the other groups as and when they are needed so we’ve had different keepers every day.
“It’s not something I’ve particularly enjoyed because we are away from the manager and the outfield players when normally we are integrated together.
“Right from the start, it was just case of getting back into it and making sure they were ready and had had a bit of action before going back in with the rest of the squad. I think we’ve managed to achieve that under some pretty difficult circumstances.”
Asked what had been the main differences, Moss replied: “Every day, we try to challenge them. We don’t trickle balls at them, we want to make them save it.
“We always try to score past them to make it as real as we can. We want to replicate things that happen on a matchday.
“Working in a small group, you lose things like bodies being in the way, challenges and getting a kick to the head after you’ve spilled one and given them a rebound.
“Although we lost a bit of realism from our sessions, in terms of fitness and making sure they are ready to go back in with the team, I think we’ve done okay.
“We can step it up now and train as a group. The keepers can get back in with the squad and any training we do with them we can add that bit of realism now.
“The club are being very meticulous in the way things are being moved forward in line with the rules and making sure we tick every box before we move on to the next stage.
“Now we can start contact training, the way we go about our days will start to look a bit more normal than they have in the past week or so in terms of bigger numbers and the sessions the manager and myself can put on.”
Asked whether he had any experience of playing games behind closed doors, Moss replied: “I played lots of reserve games at Southampton because I didn’t get in the first team very often!
“It’s going to be strange playing games of this magnitude with no fans in the ground. These are huge games, we know how big they are and what’s at stake.
“Everyone is in the same boat. We’ve got the smallest ground in the league and our fans make good noise. It remains to be seen whether losing 10,000 voices will affect us less than maybe teams which are used to crowds of 40,000 or 50,000.
“You think you’ve seen it all in this game and then, all of a sudden, something like this happens and you realise you haven’t.”