MIDDLESBROUGH’S sports science staff are helping the club’s young players to stay active and fit during their time away from the training ground due to the coronavirus.

Boro have come up with a way to stay in touch with the academy players during the crisis, having been told to stayaway from Rockliffe Park having had the day release suspended.

Fixtures have also been postponed for the time being and there are greater restrictions in place following the latest government advice, so Middlesbrough staff are helping the youngsters with guidance in a bid to help them maintain fitness.

“Our key message is to encourage the players to remain active and to use the one-hour recommended outside time and isolation days effectively regarding exercise,” explained Jonathan Madden, the academy’s lead fitness and conditioning coach.

“We have sent out training programmes to the Under-12s to Under-16s age groups but there are other fun and interesting resources that are available online for youngsters to use to keep fit alongside their MFC training programmes.

“There are resources available on social media and give a general and football specific way of how to keep both the youngsters and parents physically fit during this time.”

Middlesbrough’s Under-16s lead coach Aaron Croft has created a series of short videos that are available for the young players to watch via the club’s social media channels.

“Aaron is creating short videos that give ideas of how the players can practice their skills at home,” said Madden.

“He will be demonstrating practices that focus on ball control, passing and receiving and other key skills essential to football, and these can be watched on the club’s channels.”

These are unprecedented times for football clubs across the country and there is no definitive as to when the first team will be back in action.

It is understood that the Premier League and EFL are hoping for a return to action at some point but it is completely unclear as to when that might be. The National League are already on the verge of ending the season now.

Middlesbrough, who are fighting to beat relegation from the Championship, is extending the Early Bird Season Card deadline.

A statement read: “The period for season card and hospitality renewals and purchases was due to end on April 9, but it has now been confirmed that the deadline has now been extended until further notice.

“The Ticket Office is closed, but season card renewals and purchases can be completed online.”

Alternatively, supporters can email ticket@mfc.co.uk. The retail store at the Riverside Stadium is also closed. Orders can still be made online but these will take time to process.