It couldn’t have been a more difficult time for West Yorkshire club Wakefield Trinity.
Results have consigned the club to the bottom of the table, whilst the coronavirus has ravaged Chris Chester’s squad since the beginning of September.
Whilst that was initially just two players that had to stay away from the group and one the following week, a further seven of Trinity’s stars were forced to sit out at the end of last month, prompting the club to take action.
A five-day period in which all playing and coaching staff were asked to isolate away from the Mobile Rocket Stadium was given the go-ahead.
And, for Chester and his men, that has done the job.
“We’re all clear,” said an upbeat Chester last week.
“The last round of testing has all come back negative, which is a real positive for everybody.
“I think having us shut down for five days after the game against Wigan has obviously worked and has given us an opportunity to clean everything and review everything what we have been doing training-wise and the groups that we have been putting into place. It’s really positive news.”
That will come as a relief for both the club and its fans after what has seemed like an age of continuously positive Covid results after another.
For Chester, it also finally means that he will have more players returning to his matchday squads.
“We stood down two last week as a precaution – Romain (Navarrete) and Brad Walker – but both of those guys have been told they don’t actually need to stand down.
“The rest of the guys will filter in, which will allow the rest of the staff to get some good work in with the players returning.
“They’ve had four or five days at home and not being able to do anything. But they came in on Wednesday and had a couple of good sessions.
“I’m just pleased we are able to get some bodies back and by next week we will have the majority of the squad to be able to pick from.”
It couldn’t have come at a better time for Chester as his side fights to avoid the wooden spoon, but the Wakefield coach is keen to get the spectators back into grounds sooner rather than later.
“It’s something we’ve missed down here at Belle Vue, it’s always nice to play in front of our fans.”
Ironically, Wakefield were playing in front of spectators on Sunday as they visited Perpignan to face the Catalans Dragons, but it was an unhappy experience for Chester as his team went down 40-8.
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