Chelsea reveal exclusive video as players return to group training
- Chelsea have revealed an exclusive video showing some of their players in action, as group training resumed this week.
- Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are among those to feature, over a voiceover from fellow teammates.
The UK's Project Restart took another step forward with the introduction of small-sided group training sessions for the first time since play was suspended in March, earlier this week.
Although contact training is not permitted until May 26 at the earliest, the latest developments are an improvement on previous regulations.
Chelsea, who occupy the Premier League's fourth and final Champions League qualification berth, are eager to get back to action and complete a season which still has some promise.
They were in the FA Cup quarter-finals and held a three-point advantage over UCL-chasing rivals Manchester United, who sit fifth under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Under new management this term, Chelsea have endured a topsy-turvy campaign, reiterated by their Champions League exploits.
The Blues narrowly escaped Group H after earning 11 points from their six group games, edging a point more than Europa League-bound Ajax while Valencia had a superior head-to-head record against Chelsea, so emerged as group winners.
They were 3-0 down to Bundesliga giants Bayern in their last-16 tie before their second leg clash, originally expected to be played behind closed doors, was postponed indefinitely.
Nonetheless, Chelsea players are itching to get back playing again and this unprecedented period has allowed them a sense of perspective. Football was no longer the most important thing in their lives, ensuring everyone's both healthy and safe was of paramount importance.
The one-minute video starts with a wide shot of their Cobham training ground, in black and white, as different players feature with voiceover snippets over archive training footage.
Mason Mount was in reflective mood, saying:
"So much you kind of take for granted. Like I wake up everyday, go to training, train then come home. Next minute I'm stuck at home, on my own, so you take so many things for granted."
Fellow midfielder Billy Gilmour admitted they'll be in for a tough time upon returning:
"When we go back, I know it'll be difficult. It's going to be a mini pre-season, I can imagine - trying to get everyone back to full fitness."
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has suffered with lengthy injuries and poor luck in recent seasons, talked about the things he misses most right now.
"Just training everyday. I miss seeing the boys, [having] banter, playing football."
Lampard present as Chelsea players return
Then after 40 seconds, the video transitions to colour, with a series of slideshow pictures and brief footage showing Chelsea players in action.
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard watches on from a distance and gets involved in a few technical drills too, as captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Mateo Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek - the latter finally being injury-free again - are among those who feature.
You can watch the video for yourself, here:
The Blues were on a three-match unbeaten Premier League run at the time of March's suspension, having gone four games without a top-flight win beforehand.