Willie Isa: Why we need another pre-season before matches
Willie Isa believes players won’t be ready to play again as soon as the social distancing rules are relaxed.
Warrington CEO Karl Fitzpatrick has already warned they may need to be ready to go straight back into action as soon as Super League gets the green-light from the government to resume – with midweek games expected in a crammed campaign. Currently, players are training alone at home during the nationwide lockdown.
Forward Isa says he is happy to tackle a congested schedule but reckons they will need up to a month training as a group – with wrestling, tackling and physical contact – to get them ready for the demands.
“Most of the boys want to play rugby league again but physically, I don’t think we can go straight into it,” he told Sky Sports’ Golden Point podcast. “I think we need a mini pre-season, three or four, weeks, to go into it.
“If we have to play a couple of games a week, it has to be like that. I think we need a good base, going into many games during the week.
“The sensible thing is give us a pre-season, and then throw at us anything. I’m no expert, I’m just a player, I just hope we get a pre-season before we start.”
Leeds chief Gary Hetherington has told players to expect midweek matches and a campaign which may run into December once the 2020 campaign restarts.
“Give me a pre-season and I’ll do it,” said Isa.
I’ve no problem with trying to finish a season in November, but please allow players to prepare, physically, as at team and we’ll be ready for it.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m in good nick. But our sport is unique, it’s very physical and you need that solid base.”
A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:
Thank you for reading this story on our website.
But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.
Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.
As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.
We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.