Reflecting on an interesting week off the pitch at Southampton Football Club, we continue to keep you updated on all matters in the absence of Premier League action…
Academy season curtailed
Premier League Shareholders last week unanimously agreed to curtail the 2019/20 Academy Games Programme.
This decision, which is independent of any discussions regarding the resumption of the 2019/20 campaign for first-team football, has been taken to give Academy staff and their players clarity at this challenging time.
The curtailment will include all Under-9 to Under-16 games as well as the Under-18 and Under-23 competitions.
The methodology for determining the final league standings and outcomes for the season will be decided at a future date.
Adapting to life in lockdown
We spoke to Head of Professional Medical Services Steve Wright on a wide range of topics as part of the Saints As One campaign.
The interview includes excellent insight on how Saints’ players and staff have adapted to these unprecedented times, as well as some useful tips to enhance your mental wellbeing.
To read the full interview, click here.
Mindfulness: The science
On the subject of mental health, club psychologists Amy Spencer and Dr. Greg Clarke continued to unpack the fundamentals behind mindfulness with another useful guide.
The duo explained how mindfulness can be applied to everyday life in lockdown in another open conversation that we were keen to share with supporters.
To find out more and to explore some mindfulness techniques, click here.
Sparkes reveals goalkeeping innovation
We’ve committed to speaking to as many members of staff as possible to keep you informed of how the club is running without the usual Premier League fixture schedule.
Another recent interview featured first team goalkeeping coach Andrew Sparkes, who revealed how Saints’ shot-stoppers have been keeping their eye on the ball from their own homes.
For more on the innovative ball machines being used by Alex McCarthy, Angus Gunn and Harry Lewis, and for an update on how the trio are spending their days, click here.
Obafemi to feature in ePremier League
Michael Obafemi will be representing Southampton in the second edition of the ePremier League Invitational tournament, which begins on Tuesday.
The draw has been made for the returning tournament, with players and celebrity fans representing the 20 Premier League clubs on EA SPORTS FIFA 20 from 5th-9th May.
The players are all competing for the honour of being the second ePL Invitational champion, after Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Diogo Jota triumphed in last month's inaugural competition.
Saints launch Stay At Home Cup
Last week Southampton launched the Stay At Home Cup – a FIFA 20 tournament featuring esports players from some of Europe’s top clubs.
The eight-team tournament saw Manchester City, LOSC Lille, Lyon, Ajax, PSV, Werder Bremen and AS Roma join Saints.
Saints Venny, representing Southampton, recorded a 3-0 victory over German side Bremen after defeats to Dutch duo Ajax and PSV. The tournament resumes on Thursday.
Venny continues ePL campaign
Saints continued to follow their scheduled 2019/20 fixture list in FIFA 20 form, as esports player Venny took on his Brighton counterpart on Sunday.
Trailing 2-0 with 15 minutes left, Danny Ings halved the deficit, only for the Seagulls to clinch victory with a late third.
Catch up on all the action from the gaming world below.
Iconic wins feature in Saints Rewind
We had not one but two episodes of Saints Rewind for you last week, celebrating the anniversaries of two famous victories in Southampton history.
First up was the promotion-clinching 4-0 success over Coventry at St Mary’s from 2012, as Saints secured their return to the Premier League after a seven-year absence.
Meanwhile, Friday marked the 44-year anniversary of the club’s 1976 FA Cup final win, as we brought you the full 90 minutes from Wembley.
Gunn shares his favourite songs
Goalkeeper Angus Gunn became the latest Saint to share a 10-song playlist to help keep supporters entertained during lockdown.
The 24-year-old included an eclectic selection, spanning from Chris Brown to Neil Diamond in a 37-minute mix.
Gunn’s tracks are available to listen to on Saints’ official Spotify channel, along with playlists from Jack Stephens, Shane Long and fellow shot-stopper Alex McCarthy.
Ward-Prowse stars on Saints At Home
Saints At Home, our online series featuring a member of the first-team squad, reached episode four last week.
James Ward-Prowse featured alongside first team assistant coach Kelvin Davis, club legend Rickie Lambert and Southampton FC Women star Kirsty Whitton.
The 35-minute programme, which covers a range of topics, is available to watch below.
Virgin Media give young fans Super Sight
Florence and Joshua, two visually impaired Saints fans, were invited to St Mary's earlier this year to receive VisionAid equipment, thanks to club partner Virgin Media.
What they didn't realise was that they'd be meeting three of their heroes - James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu and Jack Stephens.
Watch the video below to see the youngsters receive a special message from Ward-Prowse when they received the wearable technology that will allow them to watch Saints as they've never experienced before.