Soccer

Wells: It’s ‘weird’ without football

  • Bristol City forward Nahki Wells

(Photograph courtesy of Bristol City)

Nahki Wells admits life without football amid the Covid-19 outbreak is “weird” and has taken its toll on the players, but insists the wellbeing of people’s health is paramount.

All games in England’s Premier League, English Football League, National Leagues, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship, plus in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have been suspended until at least April 30 because of the global pandemic.

“As of Friday, it will have been a week without football and that wouldn’t have taken too much toll on us as players physically,” Wells told The Royal Gazette.

“Mentally, it’s taken a toll because there’s so much uncertainty over everything, but we just have to carry on in the same manner and hope things get resolved soon.”

Wells and his Bristol City team-mates are training individually away from the club’s Failand training base to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

All players have been issued with tailored programmes, including heart-rate monitors and fitness equipment, to prepare individually before returning to squad training for the resumption of fixtures.

“We’ve been given individual training programmes to do at home to keep us ticking over while we’re all in isolation, which is, of course, a bit a weird,” Wells added.

“We always train as individuals and I do a lot on my own during the off season, international breaks or whenever I feel the urge to do extras.

“However, it’s weird now because it’s at a time of the season when it’s crunch time and it’s not an actual break.

“To be a week without football and not having internationals or nothing on telly, and be away from it is very weird, so it’s definitely different in that aspect.

“We just have to tick over and keep the body maintaining physically and mentally and prepare for the best, which is that we come to a resolution very soon. We just have to keep preparing as though that’s going to be the case.”

A joint statement issued by the Football Association, Premier League and EFL expressed “a commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 season” and completing all domestic and European matches “as soon as it is safe and possible to do so”.

The postponement of Euro 2020 has opened up a window for domestic league fixtures to take place in June.

“It’s definitely looking like an unusual scenario as to how the season is going to end,” Wells added.

“Of course, the majority would want to finish it rather than it be void or stopped now; I think we all have our opinions about that. But, ultimately, the most important thing is the wellbeing of everyone’s health and football comes second to life, which is what’s most important.

“Football brings loads of happiness but, if it’s going to harm people’s lives, then it’s important we put that on the back burner to what’s really important. And that’s keeping on top of the virus and keeping on top of everyone’s health and sticking together to overcome this pandemic.”