CITY will spend the weekend plotting their friendlies strategy for pre-season.

Clubs have been sent another weighty document from the EFL outlining the rules for arranging games in the build-up to the new League Two campaign on September 12.

The restrictions over testing, social-distancing and travelling have made it a lot more complicated to arrange warm-up matches this year.

Stuart McCall has been contacted by a couple of prospective league opponents but will discuss the governing body’s advice with his coaching staff before making any decisions.

He said: ““We’re going to plan it over the next few days. We’ll try to sort something out with a couple of clubs.

“We’ve had that much to do at the minute but we’ll have a chew over it and see if we can do other ones.

“It will come quickly. We can’t play games too early but we also don’t want to cram too many in, especially with us going with a reduced squad this year.

“You can try and do split squads which you’d normally back up with kids from the under-18s. But they aren’t back yet and would have to be tested to come into our training.

“At £100 a pop, that’s more cost even for them just to sit on the bench or come on for 10 minutes. It’s something we will look at carefully.”

City traditionally face non-league neighbours such as Bradford (Park Avenue) and Guiseley, which act as useful money-spinners for their hosts.

With all games currently behind closed doors, the part-time clubs will miss out on that opportunity – although it is down to the Bantams whether they still want to play them anyway.

“The guidelines say you can play the non-league sides, who aren’t going to be tested, but that’s down to your discretion,” added McCall.

“If you are going away to their grounds, you’ve got to send somebody up there first to check that everything is COVID protected as they put it.”

The new government lockdown on the Bradford area has not affected City’s return to Apperley Bridge.

The players spent the first two days training in socially-distanced groups of six with the squad arriving for two separate sessions.

They are not allowed inside the Woodhouse Grove building to change or eat and food has been provided outside, which they then take straight to their cars.

The players must not shower on the premises and have to wash their own kit.

McCall said: “You can do your passing drills while still maintaining their distance. You’ve just got to be a little bit more creative.

“It’s great to be back out and setting up coaching stuff and seeing the lads doing it.

“The lads have had the GPS kits on and (fitness coach) Ben Rome is working on the data.

“All managers will say they all came back super-fit but pre-season is to get them sharp.

“We were quietly pleased with the majority of them. But I wouldn’t be critical of anyone with the length of time we’ve been off."

City will continue to follow the EFL's Return to Training protocol for the coming days before hoping to be able to step up to contact work.