Thomas Frank outlines Brentford’s stance on restarting season amid coronavirus
Brentford boss Thomas Frank insists all of his players have a “deep love” of football and cannot wait to return.
The Championship is planning on returning to training next Monday, the provisional plan is to start games from June 13 and there is a clear determination to play the remainder of the season.
Frank, 46, is firmly of the opinion that, given all of the necessary assurances from the EFL and medics on safety and training protocols, they will be keen to get going again.
“That’s my clear feeling. They all want to come back, play football and compete. Of course that means all of the regulations and rules must be in place. But they all want to play, they want to start to train and play football again,” said Frank.
“They love to play. It’s so deep inside their bodies and of course I feel that way too. I hope we can start again very soon and, like everything, we also need to continue. Life moves on and we need to start and try to get back to something that is normal.
“Of course we all have a big responsibility to stay safe and to follow the regulations and we can play again.
“I have a belief that we can do it. I see all the emails going back and forth between the EFL, the doctors and the directors, about protocols and I have a clear idea that we can do it safely.
“It was good that the Bundesliga started this weekend. Everyone can see that it was fine. I strongly believe that we can continue and it will be safe or in a safe environment going forward if we do the right things.
“I watched the Leipzig-Freiburg game and it was good to watch some football. It was strange but good.”
This season has been particularly strange for Brentford as they were due to say farewell to Griffin Park this season, they are in the hunt for the play-offs and it was a dream to get promoted and move into their new stadium in the Premier League.
Everything has been on hold for Brentford but the club is something of a rarity in football, it is well run, and yet even a club which respects budgets and costs is facing testing times because moving into a new stadium with no fans is a major worry.
Frank said: “It’s very strange. Basically, when everyone started playing football or coaches started to coach it was without fans. You train without fans, if you’re a young player there are no fans, you just play.
“But when you play at the top level, there are always fans. Football and fans are so connected with each other that it feels very strange to play with no fans and not to have that connection that togetherness, that bond which helps you fight or go to war with another club.
“Of course we will miss fans and especially in a season for us, at Brentford, it was farewell to Griffin Park. Everything was in place to give it a beautiful and magical farewell.
“We will do our best to do that anyway so it can stay in the heart of the fans. We know in the long term that football is coming back so we can play in front of the fans but maybe that will take quite a long time.
“But we have the new stadium to look forward to. Hopefully we will get there no matter what. If everything went to our plan, it would be fantastic to celebrate with the fans but we will find a way, I'm sure.”
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