'Very exciting prospect' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to 'Huge' update critical to Leeds

Noel Whelan claimed it is “huge” news for Leeds United to hear that players can now return to contact training ahead of June restart.

The former Leeds and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the decision is testament to the players having abided by social distancing guidelines.

The UK government revealed on Monday that it would allow professional sports to return to competitive, close contact training after a lengthy period of social distancing.

The decision came just a day after Championship clubs returned to training as preparations begin for the second-tier of English football to resume in mid-June.

However, EFL clubs must now vote on when close contact training will resume, as the Premier League did today.

When asked by Football Insider how the news would have been received at Leeds’ training headquarters, Thorp Arch, Whelan said: “It is huge.

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“It shows that the testing has been good and the majority of the players have looked after themselves. That is shown by the test results and how many have come out negative.

“I think now a little bit of normality within training is a very exciting prospect.

“Players can get together and get the training done at close contact which is needed if we want to resume matches in June.”

The first round of COVID-19 testing in the Championship resulted in only two positive cases from the 1014 players tested – both from Hull City.

The Athletic claim that the Championship is hoping to resume on the 12 June if it is safe to do so.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are on red alert as Premier League winner claims he is looking for a new club this summer.