Virtual reality bringing Preston North End players together says striker Jayden Stockley

Preston North End’s training ground gym has been brought into the players’ living rooms with the help of technology.

Friday, 10th April 2020, 6:00 am

The Lilywhites squad have been doing fitness and spin bike work at home, linking up via Zoom and Facetime to make group classes.

Jayden Stockley says being able to see his team-mates during exercise makes things more fun and helps him really push things.

PNE striker Stockley told the Lancashire Post: “We had a fitness session on Zoom the other day, all of us.

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Preston North End striker Jayden Stockley

“It is nice to have that bit of banter with the lads, see the faces while you’re exercising like we normally would when we are at the training ground.

“When everyone goes their separate ways it can be difficult to keep in touch, so it was good to see everyone on this session. All the lads are in the same boat, we are as eager to get back out there as 
anyone is.”

Stockley says the last few weeks since the season was suspended, had been all about maintaining fitness levels.

That will be the case for the weeks ahead too, with the middle of May suggested by the EFL as a possible date to return to training.

Said Stockley: “We have been given programmes by the fitness coach and through Mick Kearns who does our gym sessions.

“I’ve hired a spin bike, so most days I’ve been on that or getting out for a run.

“It is all fitness based and the hardest thing is not being able to do football-related stuff.

“You just have to keep your base fitness up so that when we do come back, we can get back to blasting the footballs about.

“I’ve never been great on spin bikes before but I’m getting more used to that now.

“I like instruction and to be pushed so I’ve been searching up instructor classes on YouTube so I can really get into it.

“The Joe Wicks fitness classes online are very good, I’ve been doing some of those with the family.”

As to when the season gets going again, a letter sent by EFL chairman Rick Parry to clubs this week hints at a summer resumption.

Parry suggests that the season can be concluded in ‘approximately 56 days’, that including the play-offs.

It would be likely that games are played behind closed doors due to social distancing issues.

The letter advised clubs not to start training before May 16 at the earliest.

If there was to be a three or four-week pre-season, that would point to starting in early to mid-June.

Parry did say in the letter that any decisions would be ‘taken in conjunction with the Government and relevant health authorities’.