Gosport Borough boss Gale: Why we’re not playing or training now lockdown restrictions have been lifted
Gosport Borough boss Shaun Gale is fully focused on a Southern League promotion challenge in 2021/22 after opting out of a post-lockdown return.
Unlike other clubs across the country, Boro have decided not to arrange any friendlies - or even bring the players back for training sessions - despite the easing of lockdown restrictions last month.
But while things will remain quiet with on-field matters until June at Privett Park, Gale has remained busy as he bids to build a title-challenging squad.
The Gosport boss has already renegotiated with some of the current squad on returning, as well as securing loan deals for two players from the same professional club.
Gale has been happy with how talks have gone so far, but he remains in discussions with some squad members from this season and work continues on signing fresh faces.
'For me, I didn’t want my lads training for two weeks and going straight back into it (playing) - I just don’t see any point to it,' said Gale.
‘I just want to concentrate on pre-season. We had a few long term injuries anyway, and we had some loans who’ve gone back.
‘For us, it was just more important to focus on what’s happening for next season, that’s what we’re doing, we’re building a squad.
‘I’m pleased how things are going. I’ve got a couple of players I want to get across the line.
‘The ones I already had here and re-negotiated with was a no-brainer, it was easy, so people can work that out for themselves with the ones that are staying.
‘There are ones that I’m trying to get in and get across the line and I’ve agreed a couple of really good loans with a pro club. I’ve seen the boys play and they’re two very good players and that’s a bonus for us as well.
‘The club is really moving in the right direction and, for me, we concentrate on what’s going on at our club.
‘I’ll try to sign the best players I feel can challenge to get out of this league because that’s what we’re trying to do.'
Gosport had played just seven league games in 2020/21 before the season was first paused in late October and eventually curtailed because of the pandemic.
Initially, the plan is for the team to meet up for a few 'light sessions' early in June before returning for pre-season later that month.
Gale said: 'We’re going to come in and have a get together in maybe the first two or three days of June once the squad is allowed to be announced and signed.
‘There might be just three training days, just light sessions, just for a get together and a chance to meet back up.
‘The third or fourth week in June is probably when we’ll start which will give us eight weeks until the start of the season.
‘They’ll be having a programme to work towards because you’re going back and you’ve seen it in local kids football as well, they’re going bac.
‘They might have been training all the way through, as in running, but you can’t replicate what you do in football, twisting, turning, tackling, contact, shooting and kicking the ball and people are picking up injuries.
‘I’m going to try my level best to avoid that by having an ease into it and getting all those things sorted so we haven’t got to go bull at a gate.
‘The most important thing - we’ve got some friendlies agreed - is when we play our first game on August 14 that we’re ready for that. That’s all I’m interested in.'