Coronavirus - From A Player's Perspective

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 1:10 PM by Matt Ogg

Just imagine…

You are given an opportunity to work in a job you absolutely love, knowing it could potentially lead you into a career later that year that you have always dreamt about. You pack up your belongings, leave your business behind, along with friends, family and loved ones, and set across to the other side of Australia to start with your new employer. After only a couple of months, you are feeling really good in your position and the future looks bright. Then all of a sudden, an extraordinary circumstance arises, forcing for you to be cut off from your colleagues with the dream you’ve been working so hard for your whole life potentially being pushed back at least another year, and could be fading quickly.

This is what it must feel like for 2020 Swan Districts recruit, Frank Anderson, after the COVID-19 pandemic has made a stop to football around the country, including training with your team mates at least until the end of May.

The postponing of the season came as a shock to the team, but it's how quickly the shutdown happened that surprised many.

"We were all ready for training on Monday night (16th March), when we had an update from our CEO, Jeff Dennis and also our coach, Adam Pickering saying that training would be cancelled and we’d have a team meeting Tuesday night", Frank said.

"At our team meeting, training was cancelled for Tuesday night as well, and then the WAFL came out and said that the season would be postponed until the 31st May".

After a strong showing against the West Coast Eagles WAFL side only a few weeks back, Anderson says one of the most challenging parts of the lockdown is the time they’ve spent getting ready to play, for both their bodies and minds.

‘We’ve spent the best part of 5 months running around the track getting ready both physically and mentally for the practice matches and upcoming season", he said.

"I personally was ready to get straight into our practice match on Saturday afternoon (21st March) against East Perth.  To then be told we have to wait at least another 10 weeks, it’s certainly frustrating.  Personally, it looks like it’ll now be a lot of running and closed off weight sessions for me for a while".

From a playing point of view, the impact could have been more devastating for Frank, if WA was the only state hit by the season delay.

"Everyone around Australia who plays footy is in the same boat", Frank said.

"Over the next few weeks we’ll keep finding out more information.  At least we are all in it together".