CORK CITY captain Gearoid Morrissey is itching to get back training and playing again, but only when it is safe to do so.
In these uncertain and sometimes dull times, people are keen for the resumption of football, but we can forget the risks players could be putting themselves and their families by return to competitive action.
Morrissey is very mindful and fearful of the potential danger of going back in training and playing games, and feels certain measures need to be put in place in order for him and other players to feel it is safe to recommence football.
“I’m as desperate as anyone to get back to normality and get back playing again, but I am cautious about whether or not it will be safe if we do,” Morrissey said.
“My main concern is that my wife has asthma and that I contract the virus and pass it on to her.
“Players need to be worried about the impact and the affect that it would have on their families were they to get the virus.
“There has to be a lot of procedures to be put in place in order for players to feel comfortable to return to action.
“I would think there has to be some sort of Covid officer at every training session to ensure that rules are being followed.
“It would also be so important that players are constantly having their temperature checked.
“I would feel much better going back into the training ground knowing that there are proper guidelines in place, to help to prevent anyone contracting the virus.”
There is the potential for the league to return in July albeit behind closed doors.
Morrissey believes it would be very optimistic for people to believe that this was going to happen considering the extra costs and less revenue for clubs that would incur, and that until a vaccine for Covid-19 is made, we will not see soccer return to normal.
“With all the extra costs of having to make sure the training grounds, match day stadiums are properly cleaned and hiring extra staff to make sure that guidelines are met, it’s going to increase costs for clubs if the league does resume.
“There are going to be extra costs for clubs even things like having to get an extra bus to travel to away games.
“Without any games been played in the last few weeks, clubs have had little or no income, they will need supporters more than ever when the league does resume.
“I know there is the possibility of reduced capacity been put in place, but I just don’t know if clubs will agree to it.
“Football can’t return to normal until a vaccine is made and we don’t know how long that will be.
“The big problem will be if games do resume and a player contracts the virus, what happens then?
“He obviously has to self-isolate, but will his team-mates have to do so as well?
“What about the teams that player would have played against a few weeks before, do they have to isolate as well, which will mean clubs won’t be able to field a team for at least two weeks?
“Does the league just shut down again?
“What happens to players that get injured? At the moment the suggestion is that they can’t get deep tissue work from the physio.
“There are so many questions that need to be answered before we can start considering going back,” Morrissey added.
Keeping fit and remaining motivated has been a difficult obstacle to overcome for some players during this lockdown, but the City captain believes the programmes that were given to them by the club, along with players being in constant communication, has helped keep spirits high.
“Joe (Gamble) has designed some really excellent programmes which have kept the lads occupied.
“We constantly stay in contact with one another, talking to each other about what work we’ve done throughout the day and then post our results, so that everyone can see.
“It keeps lads motivated because if they see someone working hard, they will know they have to work just as hard so that if we do return, everyone is at a high level of fitness.
“I live close to the Lee fields, so I’m there most days doing my cardio work and then do body weight exercises at home to maintain strength.”
As captain of the club, players are constantly in communication with Morrissey asking him for updates.
The midfielder was quick to praise the club’s board and how they have handled everything during these uncertain times and continue to communicate with the players.
“I’m the players delegate, I represent the players when talking to the PFAI and club.
“We have frequent zoom calls with the PFAI about the future of the league.
“I record details from those meetings and put that information on the player’s groups chat.
“The club have been great in terms of keeping us informed and given us notice to any chance of circumstance.
“I know they have been availing of the government’s subsidy scheme and anytime there has been a change they give us two weeks notice.
“That’s all we (the players) can ask for in these uncertain times, is to be kept informed and be given notice if things change.
“We know the club are doing everything that they can for the players.”