09:00AM, Saturday 26 December 2020
With Marlow FC not due to get their season back underway until January at the earliest, their players have keenly felt the absence of football over the recent months.
Further to the government’s announcement with regards to the introduction of tier 4 areas, the Isthmian and Southern Leagues remain paused until the New Year with all training and matches suspended.
Having not played a league fixture since October 27 – a 4-0 victory against Uxbridge – this unprecedented time of self-isolation, social distancing, and lockdown has proven to be a stern test of habit for Marlow striker James Clark.
“It’s been my life for the last 12 years or so. For the season to just stop like it did has really knocked me out of routine,” he said.
“We’ve had some Zoom calls to try and maintain some sort of fitness but you can never really replicate training and matches. It’s not the same. You get to see the boys but it’s not the same as the changing room banter you normally have.
“In the summer, when we had the first lockdown, it was easy to train. But now, when you’re finishing work at 5pm, it’s pitch black outside, it’s raining and freezing – it’s hard to find the energy to get up and do it. Doing the runs at home or the online fitness stuff, if you’ve got a date, you’ve got a target of where you want to be. But, at the moment, it feels like we’re doing it for no reason.”
Clark added: “We still don’t know if the season is going to have time to finish.”
“We’ve only had seven league games so far. We don’t want to get to a stage where we’ve played another 10 or 20 and they say ‘Right, the season is over and there isn’t going to be any promotions or relegations’.
“You’d definitely think it was a wasted season then. You haven’t played for anything.
“The main thing is we get back as and when it’s safe to do so.
“But can I see the league finishing? I don’t think so.
“I don’t think it’s going to be done by May really with the amount of games we’ve got left to play,” he added.
Top Ten Articles