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Thackeray discusses strange pre-season

05/02/2021

Sheffield Eagles Vice Captain Anthony Thackeray has praised the coaching staff for how they’ve managed pre-season, despite the strange situation they find themselves in.

The pandemic hasn’t stopped elite sports from training so the Eagles have been getting ready for the new season, scheduled to commence late-March.

Thackeray gave his thoughts on pre-season so far saying: “It has been strange,”

“We had the phased return which was bizarre as we were all in small groups.

“We’re more separated and with the new lads coming in, that’s not been the best as we do need to get to know them all.

“We’ve not had any social events off the field and training has been a mixed bag, especially after being stood down for a few days.

“It’s all been a bit hit and miss but we are getting into our stride and the intensity has been ramped up now which is great.”

Discussing how the Eagles’ coaching staff have adapted, Thackeray added: “They have been really good to be honest,”

“We have been doing position-specific type stuff, the halves doing the kicking, outside backs with catching and evasion skills, forwards doing their thing too.

“We have Tubbs, Keith and Ged who have been mixing between groups and then the conditioning and backroom all helping out too, its good.

“Gym work has been in small groups but BXF, where we have been doing the work, have been great with us.

“It’s managed really well but it just isn’t the normal we are all use to and have had to adapt.”

With the mood in camp still positive, Thackeray is looking forward to the season starting but is skeptical at the provisional start date of March 21.

“Everyone is still in really good spirits,” he said.

"You won’t generally find a bad bloke in rugby league so we still have smiles on our faces and we’re putting in the hard work.

“We’ve got a date for the start of the season which is positive but personally I’m not sure when the season will begin, for definite.

“We’ve still got part-time jobs to do so we are probably more at risk and do need more protection.”

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman