BEING able to relax and recharge was badly needed and welcomed, but there’s only so much anyone can take before boredom sets in.
For Cork City footballer Dylan McGlade, the possibility of being back playing sooner rather than later is keeping him sane for the moment.
“It’s being a crazy time for everyone, and I’m no different.
“Initially, I think like many others, the break was great but did we ever imagine it would go on for this long? Not a hope. To be honest there are little positives such as spending time with family, but overall, it’s been a very challenge period in our lives.
“It’s very tough to stay motivated as you don’t have a set target date, to be ready to be back for. So motivation is tough especially with the limitations like staying within your 5k radius and trying to stay indoors as much as possible.
“But at the end of the day this is my job and it is what I am paid to do so I’m doing my best to think to some sort of structure. I’m trying to do as much little bits of ball work as I can but it is predominantly fitness work. I would imagine with all our fitness training at the moment, but lack of ball time, there easily could be a few boys who will come back a bit rusty on the football aspect,” laughs McGlade.
McGlade, who was named in the 2019 First Division Team of the Year, joined the Rebel Army at the start of this season, after a brief spell in England with Blyth Spartans, having joined the National League outfit after a season at Bray Wanderers. The pacy winger is now back in Dublin during the Covid-19 disruptions, but he hopes he will be back to Cork soon.
“I am back in Dublin with my family which is great as I have been away from home since last October so it’s great to be able to spend some time relaxing at home with them. My sister has just had a baby too, so getting to spend time with him and bonding has been great.
“Also I’ve been working on a clothing line for about a year and a half now but with this lockdown I’ve been able to get so much work done that I’ve been able to fast forward the process to hopefully launching sometime in June.”
So, how does life differ for a footballer during this difficult period?
“This might sound a bit funny but not much really. It’s sort of the same type of day for most footballers apart from maybe the weekend when we might go out for some lunch somewhere.
"I get up, have some breakfast do my workouts/runs for the day and then chill out. The only difference from a normal day is we can’t travel outside a 2k radius really. However there are parts of my usual routine that I do miss, and that are difficult to proceed during this time.
“It’s been tough not been on the training ground, with the lads. I train better when I have competition, but I have a younger brother who’s only four years younger than me so we’ve been working out and training together so it helps a little bit I suppose.
“Thankfully we have been getting sessions from assistant manager Joe Gamble. This along with an odd zoom call keeps us focused. I’m trying to keep as regular a week as possible so trying to train Monday,Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“The sessions usually consist of a mix of running/sprints and gym sessions with whatever equipment myself and my brother can get our hands on.”
With no indication of how the League of Ireland will be played this season, or if played at all, for McGlade, the option of playing behind doors would definitely be an option he would be in favour of.
“Personally I think if the league can be resumed behind closed doors then I hope it does. The longer players aren’t training/playing the longer it will take for everyone to get back into the swing of things.
“At the moment it’s keeping a couple of hundred people out of work and if this can be avoided by playing games behind closed doors, then I don’t see why not. I think if the finances are right, and somehow maybe a streaming service that people can pay for instead of paying for their ticket then it should be done.
“Obviously football is nothing without fans and there is nothing better than walking out in front of the supporters especially when they are cheering and urging us on.
“At the same time everyone is missing football so I think the majority of people would love to have it back, even if it means they have to cheer from their sitting rooms for a few weeks.
“The PFAI are in regular contact with us letting us know, but the situation changes daily so no one can be sure when anything will be resumed. I will be massively disappointed if the season doesn’t finish out as I was really looking forward to showing what I could do in the premier division and pushing on this season and was relishing being back in a full time environment and living down in Cork.
“Having football back will not only give us as players a huge lift, but it would also bring a lot of joy to all our supporters. This is really needed.”