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‘We will monitor the situation’ – OK

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney insists the club will monitor the ongoing coronavirus outbreak after local football was brought to a halt last weekend…

Coleraine have suspended all football activity at the club for at least the next seven days following the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bannsiders are one of a number of Irish League clubs to make the call in the wake of the Irish FA’s decision to suspend all football activity until at least April 4th.

But given how quickly things are developing boss Oran Kearney said they would be continually reviewing the situation in terms of players returning to training.

“At the minute the IFA have suspended football activity until the start of April,” he said.

“We haven’t really made a concrete plan with regards to training at the minute because it’s a bit of a fluid situation.

“It’s more than likely we will give the players the week off, possibly longer, and then bring everyone back in for some training.

“But as I say it’s a case of monitoring the situation and we will only act once it is safe to do so.

“With April 4th pencilled in as a possible return then realistically if that goes ahead we would like to have had two weeks training under our belts again just like we do in pre-season.

“There’s no point having players in training constantly if there are no games.

“But so much can change on a daily basis and it’s still not definite that the games will go ahead again at the start of April.

“It’s very difficult to gauge how things will be by the end of the week nevermind three weeks away.”

With the League Cup already in the cabinet the Bannsiders were pursuing further honours as they trail Linfield by four points in the Premiership, with an Irish Cup semi-final against Ballymena United also on the horizon.

But Kearney says the most important thing at this present time is people’s health.

“I think once the news broke about the Linfield player testing positive then we all expected the football to be suspended,” he said.

“It was a case of when and not if over the last week.

“To be fair though we probably didn’t expect things to have escalated so quickly.

“It’s important that we respect what is happening now.

“I know people will probably be disappointed that football and most sport in general is suspended at the minute, but there are more important things in life.

“Times like these brings it all into perspective.

“People’s health is what is important and it’s vital to follow the advice begin given out at this time.”

Kearney is not sure how the situation will be resolved if the suspension is extended, especially if it runs in to the summer months.

“It’s a difficult one for the authorities to plan out as obviously people will already have plans made for the summer such as weddings and holidays,” he said.

“There could also be issues regarding people’s contract situation.

“Realistically we are just going to have to wait and see what happens as it’s too early to call.”

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