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'We don't want all our hard work to fall away': Thistle coach

Pandemic the new reality for everyone.

Individual training will be promoted for Gisborne footballers in the next month after New Zealand Football declared all team sessions should be suspended until April 18.

The start of the community football season has been postponed until May 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic, after the Government put restrictions on mass gatherings and urged strict hygiene precautions.

Gisborne United coach Dean Wrigley said not much could be done beyond self-training.

The situation was new for everyone and people were now taking it seriously, he said.

“It's a bit of a shock, really.”

Gisborne Thistle coach Garrett Blair said players would be put on programmes relevant to their positions.

He and goalkeeper Mark Baple, a physiotherapist, would develop those.

“It's a month to when we can get back on the grass,” Blair said.

“We don't want all our hard work to fall away.”

Gisborne teams took part in a pre-season tournament at Childers Road Reserve last weekend but the sports calendar has had a radical revamp since, with many events called off and winter codes postponing competitions.

In Gisborne, Charity Shield football fixtures this weekend were called off.

Gisborne Thistle Massive had been due to play the Gisborne Boys' High School first 11 in the men's match and Riverina and Gisborne United were to contest the women's match, before the postponement of community football.

'• The end of the Poverty Bay junior cricket season was cancelled this week.

Dnature Dragons were declared the winners of the Junior Colts 30-over competition.

Gisborne Boys' High School Blues and Royals were declared winners of a separate junior championship.

Tomorrow's junior prize-giving was called off.

Gisborne gathering: Gisborne United goalkeeper Jack Faulkner secures the ball under pressure from Gisborne Thistle player Liam McMenamy in a game last year. Their 2020 season has been postponed until May and New Zealand Football has urged teams not to gather for training sessions until April 18. Picture by Paul Rickard