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Premier League side Crystal Palace return to training with assistance from Kent Cricket who are lending them facilities at The County Ground, Beckenham

Kent Cricket are lending a hand to Premier League side Crystal Palace as they return to training.

Palace are back in training today (Tuesday) after a 10-week absence as part of Project Restart, which aims to see the return of the Premier League season.

Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace's Copers Cope training ground Picture: Sebastian Frej/CPFC (34976553)
Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace's Copers Cope training ground Picture: Sebastian Frej/CPFC (34976553)

As part of the club’s “extensive medical and operational plan” they are using facilities at The County Ground, Beckenham, which is sited adjacent to the grass pitches at Copers Cope Road where the Eagles train.

Players are being directed to The County Ground at separate allotted times, in designated parking areas. They will have their temperature taken in their cars and fill in a questionnaire on an app.

If they get the all-clear they will be able to leave their vehicles. The large car park at the cricket ground means players will have no issues keeping apart in and out of their own training facility, something they wouldn’t normally be able to do on their own site.

Premier League teams are allowed to train in small groups, maintaining social distancing at all times, in what is phase one of ‘Project Restart’.

Kent Cricket chief exec Simon Storey said: “We are fortunate that the neighbouring location of Crystal Palace FC’s training facility and Kent Cricket’s County Ground at Beckenham has created a hub for professional sports development here in the London Borough of Bromley.

“This makes it possible for us to work together in partnership and we are delighted to support the phased return to training of Crystal Palace players.

“Across the sports industry, the health and safety of players, staff, members and supporters remains everyone’s top concern.

“ECB are already working incredibly hard with government, cricket partners, including Kent Cricket, and other key stakeholders to develop procedures and protocols to support a delayed but safe start to the cricket season.

“With the Premier League leading a solution for football players to return to work safely and finish their season, our partnership between two professional sports can only be a positive step.”

The EFL meanwhile, are planning on holding a board meeting this Wednesday ahead of putting different proposals to their member clubs to consider later in the week.

Gillingham’s season is in the balance and there has been talk of an extended play-off campaign that could involve them, if they were elevated to 10th on points per game average.

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