Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
The Impact players will be able to make it to the Center Nutrilait to start a personal training and fitness beginning Monday.
Kevin Gilmore had trouble hiding Wednesday night, a certain incomprehension mingled with frustration in the face of a status quo that had lasted for two weeks. Saturday afternoon, the voice of the president of the Montreal Impact was more playful.
The Impact announced that its players will be able to access the grounds of the Centre Nutrilait for individual workouts fitness beginning Monday.
In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the team management has confirmed that the public Health provincial had agreed that the players return to training the individual at the Centre Nutrilait, in accordance with the protocol submitted to the government.
During a brief telephone interview with The canadian Press on Saturday, Gilmore said that the department of public health of Quebec had communicated with the team doctor on Friday to inform him of the decision.
In collaboration with the MLS, the health plan of the club has been approved so that the players are undertaking this very first phase towards a return to the game.
The announcement of this news has just put an end to an imbroglio which lasted from may 7, between the Impact and the public health authorities, who refused to grant them access to the Centre, Nutrilait due to the pandemic of the COVID-19.
During all this time, twenty MLS teams, including Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps, had initiated training sessions individual.
“I’m glad and relieved that we can send our players on a field-maintained, safe, with an emphasis on their health and their safety, said Gilmore. This is what we were looking for and we can start individual workouts. “
On Wednesday, Gilmore had spoken of the possibility that the team trains outside the province, in the event of an announcement of a return to play in MLS, if the players had still not had access to the training complex.
In the previous days, rumors had begun to circulate, according to which the MLS will resume its season this summer, bringing together all of its teams in Orlando, Florida, during matches played in the absence of spectators.
In the Face of such an assumption, Gilmore had implied that his players would fight not with equal strength against their rivals, if they had not had the opportunity to train at the least on an individual basis previously.
“If there is a return to the game and it comes to common site and that it has not yet resulted in individually or even in small groups, one was disadvantaged,” said Gilmore in an interview with The canadian Press.
“To be honest, it will be necessary that you start looking at, maybe, to take the team, leave the city and go train elsewhere. Where you can train. We will not have the choice. The priority is the health and safety of the players and after that, it becomes a priority to be at least competitive if there is a return to the game. It is not as if the athletes of this level can prepare from one day to the other to return to the game, ” he added.
On a voluntary basis, the club players will train individually in a sanitary environment controlled and very safe, said the Impact in its press release.
The two natural turf pitches will be used, which will allow eight players to train at the same time, remaining in each quarter of the field clearly delimited.
Players and essential staff will have access to the grounds of the Centre Nutrilait, but not inside the building. According to the guidelines of the MLS, the media will not have access to the facilities and to the parking lot, but the club will provide video content, photos, and comments of the participants.
The Impact remains in communication with the governmental bodies and the MLS, while monitoring closely the situation of the COVID-19 to protect the health of its supporters, players, staff and partners.
To see the video