Among the few advantages of COVID-19 in recent weeks has actually been the delayed go back to pre-season training for Dundalk FC.

Having played up till December 10th last year, the Lilywhites team had initially been due back in the very first week of January to prepare for the forthcoming campaign just for the lockdown to see this date pressed back till Monday.

Head coach Filippo Giovagnoli believes the prolonged break will be an advantage to his side as they prepare for the new season to begin on March 19th.

Speaking to The Argus on the eve of the go back to training on Sunday, Giovagnoli stated: ‘We’re back in tomorrow and we’re looking forward to it. It’s crucial to begin working as a group together lastly after all the limitations, seclusion and other stuff today we are ready.

‘ For us the extra break was crucial since we had lots of players who played numerous games right into December so it was a long season for them. It was excellent to be able to rest and now they are delighted to restart.

‘ They have actually informed me they wish to go back out on the pitch and work which, as a coach, is what you wish to hear but it was excellent to have that additional duration of rest.

‘ We’ve been working with them as individuals and in small groups for the last two weeks so they are in good condition. I saw a few practices with the physical fitness coach and they are in shape but tomorrow we can begin on speed.’

Giovagnoli, who only got to Oriel Park midway through last season at the end of August, stated an excellent pre-season would be necessary to him to prepare the squad for a new project.

‘ Pre-season is where you begin to implement and combine a design of play,’ he stated.

‘ We require to hang around on the pitch training and to prepare due to the fact that this is the best minute in the season to develop a team.’

While over the last few years, Dundalk have actually delighted in the benefit of pre-season camps in Spain where a variety of fixtures were played, as well as bonds formed with brand-new recruits, Giovagnoli said he was not too concerned that this was not possible this year.

‘ It’s the very same thing for everybody,’ stated the Italian.

‘ Obviously it would be excellent to have a camp for pre-season outside the nation but this is the period that we’re going through and it’s not going to be only Dundalk impacted. It’s the brand-new normality and all groups are impacted.

‘ The new normality all over the world is this however we have to take this as a positive thing to assist the new players adjust in this brand-new environment. It’s not a huge deal.’

New signings Alessio Abibi, Sonni Nattestad, Raivis Jurkovskis, Sam Stanton and Ole Erik Midtskogen will be seeking to settle in as quickly as possible having actually moved to Dundalk in the off-season and while the lockdown indicates there is just minimal quantities they can do away from the pitch, Giovagnoli stated this would assist them focus on football.

‘It’s only football at the minute which is even much better for me due to the fact that they’re only going to focus on football and improving. We’ll invest the time to do that.

‘The players coming here from overseas are coming here to do well so they’re going to be concentrated on the work and we’ll keep them busy without any issues trust me,’ he said.