Derby County defender Curtis Davies has penned a column for dcfc.co.uk as he discusses life as a professional footballer in current climate during the unprecedented situation facing the game following the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The 35-year-old centre-back, who has amassed almost 550 appearances in the game, has aspirations of being a pundit/journalist when he hangs up his boots and has undertaken a journalism degree at Staffordshire University.
“I think it’s fair to say that all of our lives have experienced a big change over the last few weeks and we are finding ourselves at home more than we have ever been right now.
Seeing as we have the time, the club’s media team and I thought it might be a good idea to put some words on paper about how things are going from a player’s perspective.
So here goes…
As I sit here and write this, my hand instinctively reaches for the remote control and attempts to turn on Sky Sports News, only for me to remember there is no sport. Therefore, there’s really no sport news as such and only more despondent news about Coronavirus.
I’m sure we can all agree that through these unprecedented and unpredictable times, not knowing if or when you will be able to go back to work or when we can get back in to a normal routine is a strange feeling to have.
To be clear, I wouldn’t dare try to compare my situation to people in terms of fear for their jobs and/or when they will be paid. I’m speaking sheerly on the routine that we all get used to.
I can’t speak for all footballers, but the vast majority of us are creatures of habit, so not having a ritual or routine is hard to get the head around. Last Saturday, we should’ve been playing against Preston North End at Deepdale. Instead, we were being given a training schedule along with a heart rate monitor and some gym equipment.
We must complete home workouts for the next couple of weeks until we’re scheduled to be back at Moor Farm. It will help to create some kind of routine and at least put some focus onto the training rather than me making it up as I go along.
We have a running schedule which works different ranges of our heart rates, which is aimed towards stopping us losing high end fitness. We’ve also been given exercises to help keep our legs and core strength up too. All of these are done using simply a chair, a stretch band and a weight plate.
However, there is a big part missing; none of the lads are around. There’s no changing room banter and no competitive edge to any of the training. This is a normal situation when it is in the off-season and you know when everything will be up and running again soon. But because there is no finish line in sight the mental side of it becomes so important.
Heading into the latter days of my career it also opens one eye as to why some struggle with retirement. If I’m only a week or so in without the football environment and it’s already been challenging, I dread to think what it would be like to walk away from the game totally.
In the time we’ve been off so far, aside from washing my hands a large number of times, I have tried to get odd jobs around the house done that I’ve been promising my wife I would get done for ages.
At the moment I am getting the brownie points, whilst also keeping myself busy at the same time.
I’ve also been on a few runs and bike rides too. The bonus of this situation is being able to spend as much time as I like being bullied by my youngest daughter! She’s into the Julia Donaldson books so I have to read the stories and watch the films every day.
Since I’ve been sat at home it has also given me way too much time to think of all the different scenarios as to what might or should happen with the football season but if I’m being honest none of them are fool-proof as each one has a knock-on effect.
I think I’ll leave that to the experts and powers that be to that sort out and it certainly can’t be easy.
Until then I’ll looking to be more involved with you all on my social media. I might run a competition or do a live question and answer session, or something like that, so watch this space!
I give you all my best wishes and hope you stay safe and stay healthy.