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Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass confident pre-season stay at home plan is paying off

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass, Gothenburg Great Neil Simpson and Scott Brown at training.
Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass, Gothenburg Great Neil Simpson and Scott Brown at training.

Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass is confident the decision to restrict pre-season training to the club’s Cormack Park facility is paying off.

The Dons will step up their pre-season preparations today with a closed door friendly against Inverness Caley Thistle at the £13m training facility.

Glass opted to remain within the Covid-19 bio secure bubble at Cormack Park this summer rather than travel to a training camp or away friendlies.

Another two friendlies at Cormack Park against St Johnstone and Championship Reading, both next Friday, are also closed door as the Dons continue to to tightly control their environment.

Having that complete autonomy has reaped rewards as the Dons have suffered no Covid-19 setbacks despite the rising numbers in Scotland due to the highly infectious Delta variant.

The only disruption was minor and outwith Aberdeen’s control when Covid issues at Cove Rangers forced the postponement of a scheduled friendly with the League One side last Thursday.

Glass insists that did not set back his pre-season plans and preparations remain on track for the Uefa Europa Conference League clash with BK Hacken at Pittodrie on Thursday July 22.

Aberdeen Manager Stephen Glass oversees a training session at Cormack Park.

He said: “Covid is still there but the players are careful in what they are doing and it is one of the reasons why we’ve stayed here during the summer and kept things closed doors.

“It has allowed us to control the environment.

“It’s important to still be very aware of the dangers that are out there, and I’m not saying the other clubs haven’t, but we have chosen as a club to work in a way this summer to contain it as best as we can.

“So far, so good.

“Hopefully it continues.

“The message out there at the moment is that we’re getting close to the end of restrictions and it is going to be a case that people will still catch it and could miss days of training so we have to be careful with what we do.”

On loan Brighton midfielder Teddy Jenks during an Aberdeen training session at Cormack Park

Some Aberdeen players have been vaccinated by personal choice

Glass confirmed many of the Aberdeen players have now received a coronavirus vaccination.

He emphasised it was personal choice, not club policy, for players to be vaccinated.

Glass said: “Nobody has been sent for a jag but some players through their personal choice have had it.

“As a club we have not told people you must do this.

“Personally, I got it early and to me it is a wise choice, but it’s not through any medical knowledge.

“It’s through thinking vaccines are there for a reason.”

Hard at work at Cormack Park. Aberdeen squad during pre-season.

On track for Euro clash with BK Hacken

Aberdeen’s season will begin in 14 days when hosting Swedish outfit BK Hacken at Pittodrie in the second qualifying round first leg tie.

Despite the postponement of the scheduled Cove Rangers bounce game Glass insists his side are well on track for Europe in terms of game time played.

He said: “We’d already played games amongst ourselves before the Cove game.

“People don’t see games and think we haven’t played.

“However we played 30 minutes in the first week, 45 minutes the next and then played 60 for the whole group instead of playing Cove so everybody is at the same level.

“We’ve got Inverness coming  and we’ll utilise the Academy so that everyone in the group gets 90 minutes.”

Aberdeen are put through their paces in a pre-season training session at Cormack Park.

Glass is now into the third week of his pre-season preparations and recently welcomed United States international striker Christian Ramirez to the squad.

Aberdeen have now secured a work permit for the 30-year-old who is undergoing a 10 day quarantine period having jetted in from the United States.

Former Houston Dynamo striker Ramirez, who penned a two-year contract, has been given special elite athlete status to train with the Dons whilst in quarantine.

Summer signing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Andrew Considine in high spirits during training.

Ramirez is Glass’ sixth signing during a summer of reconstruction joining Scott Brown, Declan Gallagher, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Teddy Jenks and Jack Gurr.

Players came back in good condition

Glass revealed his squad reported back for pre-season in good shape and he was able to begin working on game play in that first week.

He said: “Players look after themselves pretty well these days and the days of running them for the sake of it are gone.

“You can set up team-related, game-related activity which works them harder than they normally do and we’ve found focusing on specific areas pushing them more productive.

“The players enjoy seeing a ball and they are doing well.

“They came back in good condition so we’ve been able to work into team stuff pretty quick.

“We’ve been game-like a quick as possible, since the first week.”

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