STUART McCall admitted it was “absolutely brilliant” to be back in training today.

All 24 members of his City squad went back to work at Apperley Bridge with the players divided into groups of six in two 12-man sessions at 10am and 1pm.

They were given food outside afterwards but had to eat in their cars – and were not allowed to shower on the site.

McCall said: “We were just saying as a staff that it was a good day. It was absolutely brilliant to be out there again.

“We observed all the social distancing but naturally it was great to be back and hopefully building the foundations for a successful season.

“After the running, you like round each other as a unit but we had to do ‘virtual’ high-fives because they’d all put a good effort in.

“The lads got a little bit of football and the technical stuff. But everyone knows preseason, especially when you’ve been out this long, is going to be a little bit of pain.

“But after it, you could see the smiles on their faces. They’ve done the hard work and could go home and rest ready to repeat it all tomorrow.”