It has been two weeks since the EFL made the decision to suspend football in wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Like all of the Barnsley players, Alex Mowatt has been keeping on top of his fitness having been set a training regime by the club’s coaching staff.
The Reds’ skipper was pictured on social media doing his rigorous exercises while out in Dubai in searing temperatures as he aims to be match sharp for when the season resumes.
“It was on the Friday before the game and it was on Sky Sports that the game has been cancelled, then the gaffer called a meeting and said we’ll be off until Tuesday until we decide something more, but then we’ve not been in since – we’ve been told to stay at home and do our programmes,” began Mowatt.
“Everyone has got an individual programme, so they’ve got to complete that at home. We’ve got to finish that by 1pm and work to scheduled times. Everyone has got gym stuff at home so they can work and then we can all go out and do some running as well.”
As you all know, life away from work and your social group can be lonely – particularly when the usual day-to-day demands are often be hectic.
However, the players are still in touch with one another and maintaining their own levels of in-house banter as they try to make the most of a tremendously difficult situation.
“We’ve all got our WhatsApp group so everyone keeps in touch through there,” continued Mowatt. “Some of the lads are back in Austria and Germany, so they’re asking what life is like back here.
“A lot of the players went home straight away and they went on lockdown in Austria. It’s similar to here, really, but they’re saying it’s quite bad over there as well.”
Once the players have completed their workouts, there is plenty of downtime to kill over the course of the day.
There are plenty of ways to keep entertained and our skipper filled us in on a few things he and his teammates have been doing in their spare time.
“I’m always playing FIFA anyway, but there’s a lot of the challenges going around on Instagram at the moment so everyone is doing them and tagging people in them, so that’s keeping people doing things,” said Mowatt.
“There’s been the toilet roll keepie-uppie challenge; that got going in the WhatsApp group and the gaffer got involved. I think Clarkey was the best; he’s got some skills, to be fair, so his was the best one out of everyone. It’s all a bit of fun and everyone likes posting on Instagram.”
Everyone is missing football at this current time, and Mowatt is hoping that play will resume as soon as possible.
However, he insists that the health and safety of everyone is the underlying issue at the moment and that sport, inevitably, has to take a back seat.
“The thing is, we don’t know what’s going to go on with the season,” admitted the captain. “When’s it going to start, when’s it going to finish? No one really knows what’s going to happen, but we all just want to find out.
“We want to finish the season and start as soon as possible, but once the virus is gone and everyone is safe. The main thing is people’s health rather than football at the moment.”