Adam Reach reveals Sheffield Wednesday’s lockdown regime

A fortnight into lockdown, Sheffield Wednesday’s Adam Reach admits he is finding it tough.
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While many Premier League clubs had fancy training equipment delivered to their homes before they were confined to them, Reach’s daily fitness regime cannot stretch much beyond runs around his neighbourhood.

The Owls, though, are doing what they can to make training in isolation as competitive as possible, and making sure the players not only hear from one another, but see their mates too.

Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach (20) celebrates his winner against Brighton back in January (Picture: PA)Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach (20) celebrates his winner against Brighton back in January (Picture: PA)
Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach (20) celebrates his winner against Brighton back in January (Picture: PA)
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Lots of people have it so much worse than Championship footballers, but that does not mean Reach and co have it easy. Still, he accepts it is just something he has to deal with, and thinks two or three weeks’ training should be enough to get up to speed once society is allowed to emerge from its coronavirus hibernations.

“We’ve been off now for two weeks and it’s difficult to keep your fitness levels up on your own,” admits the winger.

“I haven’t got any gym equipment so it’s basically going out on runs. You can’t recreate anything you would do in a game. It’s difficult, but it is what it is.

“I think the first week off, it was a bit of a novelty and you were getting loads done in the house but now it looks like it’s going to keep going for a while. It’s getting a bit frustrating because you don’t know when it’s going to be (that football resumes).

Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach (left) with manager Garry Monk (right) (Picture: PA)Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach (left) with manager Garry Monk (right) (Picture: PA)
Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach (left) with manager Garry Monk (right) (Picture: PA)
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“Everyone’s in the same boat, though, it’s not just footballers. Unfortunately they’re the drastic measures we have to take but it’s nice to spend time with my girlfriend and do some jobs around the house.”

At least it has happened in an era where technology makes it so much easier to stay in touch. Wednesday appreciate that contact needs to be visual too.

“We’ve got WhatsApp groups and the club are doing video conference calls, more than anything to keep reminding people we’ve got friendly faces to help us through,” comments Reach, who joined from first club Middlesbrough four years ago. “Some people are living on their own so the club are trying to keep everyone within their wits.

“We’ve all got personal schedules to keep to, hitting so many K a week or whatever, but I think they’ve been smart enough to know everyone’s got access to different things, some have got treadmills or bikes, I don’t. They’ve given us a wide range of things we can do and they trust us as professional athletes.

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips (left) and Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach battle for the ball (Picture: PA)Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips (left) and Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach battle for the ball (Picture: PA)
Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips (left) and Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach battle for the ball (Picture: PA)
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“I don’t think we will need as long as we’re used to to get back up to speed. Usually you might be looking at seven or eight weeks off in the summer, and this break could end up being there or thereabouts but we’re probably going to have to get our fitness in within two or three weeks.

“That will be an issue for clubs and medical departments and it’s going to be interesting to see how they deal with it, but everyone will be in the same boat.”

The Owls have not played since March 7, and last week the date for a return was pushed back indefinitely from the optimistic target of April 30.

Having slid down the Championship on the back of just two wins in their previous 14 matches, and thumped 5-0 at Brentford in the last of them, the break might have come at a good time for Garry Monk’s side.

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“I think the answer will change depending how long we’re in isolation,” says Reach.

“We had a lot of players fatigued or suffering from injuries so a physical and mental break is a good thing but if it goes on too long match fitness will suffer.

“The fans have had a break from the games too, which is probably no bad thing when things aren’t going great.

“We just hope we’re not in isolation too much longer and 
we get chance to finish the season.”

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Reach is trying to keep ready for that, and really looking forward to it.

“I’m using this time to work hard, relax the mind and try and get in a really positive way for when we next play,” he says.

“The one thing I can always be proud of is I always try my hardest and I always try to improve but I think the whole squad can improve at the moment.

“Whatever anyone does, whether it’s play golf, go to the pub or watch football, the atmosphere is going to be brilliant when they are able to get back to it. The first match back at Hillsborough will be an excellent atmosphere and hopefully it drives more people back into the ground.”

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