Torquay United are mounting a major effort to avoid the injuries which derailed their National League promotion hopes in 2019-2020 ahead of a return to training early next month.

The Gulls’ backroom team has used the ‘lockdown’ to re-examine how injuries happened last season - at one point as many as ten senior players were sidelined - and see what more they can do to head off a repeat in 2020-2021.

Assistant manager Aaron Downes says: “We have looked in depth at every aspect, to see how we can improve things.

“The injuries were nobody’s fault - the vast majority were impact injuries, with probably only Armani Little (hamstring) and Ben Wynter (groin) not.

“But we are always trying to improve as a club and as individuals, and the manager is driving that all the time.

“People like myself, Kai (Hepworth - physio), Louie (Birkenshaw - analyst) and Russell (Cleave - sports therapist) have spent the lockdown trying to improve everything we do.

“There will be changes, more in things we do before and after training sessions.

“We were doing a lot of that work anyway, but Kai has been brilliant coming up with new ideas and new exercises.”

Manager Gary Johnson has now agreed terms with five prospective signings, but ‘furlough’ rules affect both their announcement and the resumption of training.