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INTERVIEW | Conor Chaplin

7 April 2020

Our latest update comes from Reds striker Conor Chaplin as he tells us how he's getting on during these unprecedented times.

"It's a massive void at the moment."

CONOR CHAPLIN on the lack of football

It's exactly one month to the very day that the Reds last kicked a competitive football in anger, and 14-goal striker Conor Chaplin is missing the game he loves badly.

A native of West Sussex, the 23-year-old isn't down south during the lockdown, as he explained when we caught up with him recently for a little chat.

"I’m back up north now as there's no room at the inn back home!" Conor told us, laughing.

"There's more space up here and all my fitness equipment is up here too so it's best to be here, along with my girlfriend and my dog."

Everyone across the globe has been affected by the Coronavirus in some fashion and millions are trying to find ways to remain occupied and to get through these unique circumstances.

With the country on lockdown, Chaplin tells us he's keeping himself active with a combination of house games and remaining as fit as he can so he's ready to hit the ground running once football returns.

"My daily routine has been allsorts; yoga, dog walks, running, workouts, board games, PlayStation, card games. So keeping busy!

"I'm following the programme we have from the club although I know my own body and how it’s best to keep myself fit so a mixture of the two! I’ve got a lot of equipment at home and ordered lots since lockdown too so I have everything that I need, as it’s important to stay on top of things and adapting to the situation we’re in to keep improving."

Chaplin is a big family man and is appreciative of all the efforts that many in the country are putting in during testing times.

The message is simple really - let's get through this together.

Conor explained, saying: "Family wise, back home most of my family are working from home. My mum works in a supermarket though so she’s out at work as normal. They're all taking the correct precautions to stay safe and be responsible really.

"The lockdown is what it is. But in reality it’s nothing compared to what our NHS and ‘essential’ employees are doing for our country right now. So it’s so important for all the Reds and the country as a whole to be responsible and do something so simple and stay home for those risking their lives on a daily basis."

We think that's a view echoed by most. 

But what of his own views on when and how football should return?

With numerous possibilities suggested by media types in recent weeks, it remains unclear as to the future of the 2019/20 season and whether matches - once back - will be played behind-closed-doors.

"Personally I’d like to think that football will only be resumed when it’s safe to do so with full stadiums. Fans make so much more than just atmosphere at a game. Football is all about fans and the energy and connection from the pitch to the stands. But that’s a personal opinion, there are way more important people who will make those tough decisions!"

The former Coventry City and Portsmouth forward, like the rest of the lads we've spoken to already, is massively missing the game. 

That isn't just the football itself, but the changing room and just being at Oakwell.

But he reiterates that the most important thing we can all do right now is stay at home and look forward to 'normal' service resuming in the near future.

"Not going to lie, I hate the break. I’ll either be playing or watching football in some capacity. So it’s a massive void at the moment and I can’t wait to get back. I miss the lads and the changing room a lot. Spend more time with the team than our own families at times so it’s always going to be a miss when we’re away from Oakwell.

"But all of that is secondary at the moment. It’s a time for the country to come together and look after one another. And when it’s safe and right to do so we’ll all be back playing and watching the game we love!"

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