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Shels boss Morris upbeat on June return for LOI

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Ian Morris

Ian Morris

SPORTSFILE

Ian Morris

Dublin made Shelbourne boss Ian Morris says he's optimistic that that football here can resume in time for the planned date of June 19.

The FAI announced last week that the ban on football activity had, in line with Government and HSE guidelines, been extended at least until May 5.

A further extension would make it difficult for soccer activity to resume, a problem for all levels but in particular for League of Ireland clubs who need revenue streams to continue paying player and staff wages.

"We are planning for June 19, you have to work that way, we can only do what's in our control and that's the date we have been given by the FAI and the Government," says Morris.

"We are really in our off-season programme but we'd tailor that to come back in May to train, have a second pre-season, and then be ready to play in June.

"You have to prepare that way, if you make your own plans and football is back in June, your whole timing will be off, so we will prepare," added Morris.

"I am optimistic. It's frustrating when you see some people not adhering to the Government advice, if we can adhere to the rules now for three weeks, things might loosen up.

"But I feel if we can get a hold on the virus in the next three weeks it will ease up, we can get back to normal and get back playing football," who added that his squad and staff are being financially supported by the club.

"No one has missed a payment, everything has been paid what they are owed and that's a testament to the club."

Morris says his Shels players have their fitness regularly assessed and there are meetings online.

"We shut up shop straight away but had a programme set up for the players.

"They have a GPS unit and Strava which gives the staff a map of their runs, their distance and times," he said.

"We do strength and conditioning classes through Zoom so we are using technology to do what we can, we have used Huddle to show replays of our matches, get them thinking about the games.

"Hopefully they will be in the right shape when football is back," added Morris.

Meanwhile, Shels have made a pretty efficient use of their contacts to gather a star-studded line-up for a charity game in aid of Beaumont Hospital in November.

Dublin stars Jack McCaffrey and Alan Brogan, former Liverpool player Stig Inge Bjornebye, boxing star Kellie Harrington have pledged to take part, along with a number of ex-internationals (Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, John O'Shea, Andy Reid) and some Shels legends, like Alan Moore, Wes Hoolahan and Pat Fenlon.

pTickets for the Shels XI v All Stars XI game, in aid of Beaumont Hospital, on Saturday November 14, will be available from 9.0am today on the Shelbourne FC website at www.shelbournefc.ie/match-tickets