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World champions Belgium return to hockey training

After two months of inactivity, world and European champions Belgium returned to squad training on Monday.

The pitch was divided into four areas, with a maximum of three men’s players in each space who will train and stick in their partnerships should a player test positive for coronavirus.

Coach Shane Mcleod and an assistant oversaw proceedings from the video tower, with the pair the only staff able to pick up balls and cones, which would then be disinfected.

The Red Lions will also stay 10 metres from each other during exercises and sessions will not exceed one hour per day.

“It was really nice to be able to see my teammates again. Besides, there was no one on the road so the journey was pleasant,” joked star Victor Wegnez. “Even if we were only in a small group, that we couldn’t kiss, it was nice to see familiar faces again”.

Serge Pilet, secretary general of the Belgian Hockey Federation, said it was taking “drastic measures” to avoid contact.

“With progressive deconfinement, we felt it was time to resume training. If the tennis players can find their racket, as long as contact is avoided, it seemed possible to us to resume training. But we obviously remain very careful,” he told rtbf.

Belgian hockey also hopes to resume club life from May 18, in a small capacity and with no competitive games being played.

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