Brisbane Roar keen to keep training
Brisbane Roar players have been given the rest of the week off but hope to return to training in small groups in the near future to maintain fitness in case the A-League season recommences.
Football Federation Australia chief executive officer James Johnson yesterday (TUESDAY) confirmed the season had been suspended due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus crisis.
There will be no A-League football until at least April 22, when FFA will announce a "further formal status assessment".
However, the likelihood is a further period of non-activity.
Roar coach Robbie Fowler and club CEO David Pourre addressed the playing squad yesterday at the club's Logan training base and it's understood those players with family interstate and overseas were given the option of leaving to be with their loved ones.
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The Roar are waiting for further government information in the coming days to determine if they will next week be permitted to have separate training sessions involving groups of four players.
"The health and safety of our players, staff and families is of paramount importance and today's decision by the FFA has the full support of the club," Pourre said yesterday.
"Our A-League squad trained today and will continue to receive the best conditioning training awaiting FFA's assessment scheduled for April 22."
Roar technical director and Fowler's right-hand man Tony Grant said the club appreciated and respected its fans.
"Now patience and practice is required to stop this spread. Your players will be professional and ready to come back fighting when all is good," Grant tweeted.
The majority of the Roar's off-field staff have been working from home since last week.
FFA and A-League clubs had been hoping to condense the remainder of the season, including finals, in the next three to four weeks.
But FFA CEO said Johnson said "mission complicated became mission impossible" in trying to complete the season as border restrictions between states increased.
"To get so close to completing the competition, only to pull up a few weeks short, has been heartbreaking for the players, clubs and fans," Johnson said.
"(But) our set duty as a code is to be a responsible citizen and help the Australian community and support the efforts to slow down the spread of the virus.
"The health and safety of our fans, players, volunteers and staff has always been the overriding consideration for us."
Complicating matters is that the more than 120 A-League players are off contract on May 31.
Professional Footballers Australia CEO John Didulica told Fox Sports: "The league has been postponed as opposed to cancelled so the players would need to continue training or be ready to resume training at some point.
"The bigger concern for us is we have about 50 per cent of A-League labour force coming off contract at the end of May so there is going to be a huge impact of 50 per cent of the players and potentially the inability to gain new employment in the next contracting year."
Originally published as Roar keen to keep training