Kompany set for training sessions with a difference

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Player-boss Kompany has seen his players stay fit at home in recent weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the Anderlecht stars dialling in on Zoom to take part in exercise sessions.

But many first-team footballers are expected back at the Neerpede training ground after Anderlecht decided the time was right to reunite in the same place.

Belgium remains largely locked down, and it was announced on 2 April that a plan was in place to abandon the Pro League season. However, a final decision in that respect has yet to be taken. There is only one round of regular-season games remaining.

In the meantime, Anderlecht has invited players to pull on their training kit and assemble together, while stressing attendance on Monday is voluntary.

Tackling and physical contact is set to be banned in the sessions.

Club spokesman David Steegen said: "Players who do not feel reassured can continue to work at home. But each player present at Neerpede will observe the safety distances and the coaches will direct the exercises while respecting the social distance."

Speaking to Belgian public service broadcaster RTBF, Steegen added: "It will be mainly physical training, but also with a ball.

"All the equipment used will be disinfected, before and after each session. Players will not have access to the dressing room, everyone will change and shower at home."

UEFA questioned Belgium's intention to cancel the rest of its league season, and there will be no final ruling on whether the campaign will resume until late April at the earliest.

Anderlecht has endured a rocky first season since Kompany joined after bringing an end to his illustrious Manchester City career.

It sits eighth in the Pro League, with Club Brugge 15 points clear of closest rival Gent at the top.