HELSTON Athletic manager Steve Massey has welcomed the return of small group training for his side.

Under the latest relaxation in lockdown rules regarding sport and exercise that came into force on June 1, people in England are now allowed to play sport in small groups of no more than six people.

This has begun in earnest for Helston Athletic this week, with second-team manager Barry Hennesy leading a session at Kellaway Park and first-team assistant manager Glynn Hooper taking a group in St Austell, while first-team boss Massey is heading up to Exeter this weekend for a session with his Devon-based players.

The sessions have been rather different to what they are used to, with a maximum of six people in any one group, heading and holding the ball off limits and social distancing measures being adhered to at all times.

“It is nice to be able to do that,” Massey said, “and certainly like these sessions that we’re doing at the moment once a week, it’s just nice to feel your way back in and still being sensible about the situation that there’s still this deadly virus that’s out there.

“It’s weird, weird times when we’re having to adapt, and who would have thought when you took your coaching badges that you’d have to have hand sanitiser and be the only who can actually pick up the balls themselves?

“There’s been no heading in the coaching sessions, asking the players to pick up the balls and cones. It is a weird, weird situation at the moment, and I think one where as coaches it’s another way to just adapt your ideas to make sure you’re putting on an interesting and good session.”

But Massey has no immediate plans to make training sessions a more formal arrangement, instead choosing to wait until a realistic 2020/21 season timetable is known.

That may become clearer after next Friday’s (June 19) meeting between the FA and step five and six leagues, who will be discussing potential scenarios for the 2020/21 campaign.

“There’s no way I’d be saying to my players, ‘We’re coming back to training at this time’, because you can’t,” he said. “It might just go on for five or six weeks and suddenly if there is a resurgence of the infection rate we’ll have to go back again.

“I think that time is not too far away to be perfectly honest, but I think there will be a good lead-in part, like we’ve had with the retail shops being opened. They were told a couple of weeks ago that they could open on June 15, and I think that’s what will happen with football at our grassroots level.

“I think that we will be given a date where competitive could be seen again and then I think that we’ll probably look to maybe do three or four weeks [of training] probably at the most, because, and again like the majority of players, I know my players are probably as fit as they’ve been at this stage in June.”