FOOTBALLERS at Ormiston have taken their first tentative steps back towards normality.

The East of Scotland Football League side held their first training session in several months last Saturday.

While the coaches and players were delighted to be back, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant that it was not the traditional training on offer.

Richie Weir, manager at the club, described the first training session in more than four months as “different”.

He said: “Normally, the first session back, we get the guys back in and give them a good warm-up.

“Normally, we are straight into stuff with the ball and some five-a-side games to get them used to kicking the ball about and building from there.

“But on Saturday there was very minimal ball work and we basically split them into little squares.

“They worked in that square for the whole session and never came out unless it was for a drink.

“We had hand sanitisers in the area as well.

“The good thing is it may be new to the players but they all know the rules.

“There is no coming in cuddling your mates or jumping about, which usually happens.

“They came ready for training, changed into their boots, had a quick warm-up, got into the session, changed out of their boots and there was no hanging about talking to their mates.

“We trained for 40 minutes and they were there maybe five to 10 minutes either side of that.”

Scottish Government guidance states that groups of up to 15 people can meet outdoors, with the people able to come from up to five different households.

Social distancing of two metres is also still in effect to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Weir, who previously played for the New Recreation Park side before becoming manager, said that presented its own challenges.

He told Courier Sport it was unlikely that players were going to come from the same house, although he did have players who shared a flat.

Equally, the club can only train with signed players, which meant he was unable to cast his eye over any trialists.

Ormiston’s season came to a halt on March 7 following a 3-1 win away to Easthouses Lily.

That victory was the club’s third in four games, including edging a seven-goal thriller over Hawick Royal Albert.

It was enough to leave Ormiston 10th in the 12-team Conference A.

Looking ahead to the new campaign, it is unclear how the two conferences – the seventh tier of Scottish senior football – will shape up for the coming season.

There is also yet to be a date for games kicking off, which has a knock-on effect in terms of preventing clubs from organising pre-season friendlies.

However, Weir was content simply to be edging closer to a return to normality in the sport.

He said: “It is good to get back to a little bit of normality.

“Everybody is raring to go and we are just trying to get ready.

“There were a few things saying the end of September or the beginning of October for games.”