Caged Lions: Port Stars on Life in Lockdown

 

We miss football. We miss that first view of the floodlights as we cross over Sunton Khosa, we miss the smell of sausages, we miss the taste of a cold Leo, we miss our friends. But if we’re missing football, have you wondered what it’s like for the players? Deprived of the exertion of training, the camaraderie of the dressing room, the buzz of matchday, the thrill of scoring a goal or winning a game, they’re stuck at home like the rest of us. Intrigued as to how they’re handling it, I asked a few Port players about life in isolation…

 

ELIAS DOLAH

How do you feel about the long break?

It’s a really unfortunate situation we all are facing but nobody would be comfortable playing football during this time anyway. And just like all other kind of professions you have to adapt and find other ways to do your work day by day. If the league starts in May (hopefully) it will be a hectic schedule so it’s more important now than ever to be well prepared.

What are the club doing to keep you all fit & positive?

We have our day to day fitness schedule and have to send in time lapse videos to show we are doing it properly. Madame is very up to date with the situation and keeps reminding us to be careful and stay home.

Apart from keeping fit, how are you spending your time?

Me and my girlfriend are obviously having more time to cook at home now which I like. So a lot more time spent cooking, doing the dishes, cleaning the condo and getting the laundry done. I’m currently reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (excellent choice! – Ed). Our current Netflix binge is Ozark (season 3 just released). And I might have just bought a racing sim-rig for my PS4… Boardgames are also great fun. Latest buy is Scrabble and Othello.

When do you think the season will restart – or do you think it will be cancelled?

I really hope it can be restarted in May. And I’m preparing for that so everything else would be a disappointment.

Any message to Port fans who are also stuck at home bored?

To all Port fans, we are all in the same boat and I hope this crisis isn’t hitting you too hard. It would be very interesting to hear some stories from our local Klongtoey area and how covid-19 has affected people and small businesses here. We need to support our local community now more than ever!

 

SERGIO SUAREZ

How do you feel about the long break?

I feel worried about the situation of Covid19 because Spain is one of the countries where there are more people infected. Wishing this didn’t happen in Thailand, but they should make strict rules as soon as possible.

What are the club doing to keep you all fit & positive?

Our fitness coach , Rafael, sent us a trainning programme to keep all players fit. We must train at home if possible and send him video.

Apart from keeping fit, how are you spending your time?

I spend most of the time watching movies and playing games, and I start to learn Thai by myself! Soooo difficult but I will try…

 

 

 

When do you think the season will restart – or do you think it will be cancelled?

Now, the most important thing is to avoid to spread the virus and the situation will be OK soon. Not easy but if we follow the rules and people stay home, it would be better. I hope we can start on 2 May, as the Thai federation inform, as it will mean that the situation in the country is becoming better.

Any message to Port fans who are also stuck at home bored?

To Port fans, thanks to follow rules and stay home. We have to fight together now and we will back to enjoy at PAT Stadium soon!

 

DAVID ROCHELA

How do you feel about the long break?

It is completely necessary if we want to control the spread of the virus. Health is above everything else so we must be smart during this time and stay home.

What are the club doing to keep you all fit & positive?

They gave us a plan and we have to follow it strictly. We have to try to stay as fit as possible.

Apart from keeping fit, how are you spending your time?

Mostly talking with my family and friends in Spain. The situation there now is really bad so trying to show them support and make them feel that they are not alone even when I’m 10,500km away.

When do you think the season will restart – or do you think it will be cancelled?

I cannot know it… I’m not an expert talking about virus but I just hope we can restart it as soon as possible but before that, the virus must be controlled.

Any message to Port fans who are also stuck at home bored?

I just want to tell them to be patient, that the better we follow the rules of the health specialists, the sooner we can return to normality. Thanks for all the support and stay safe!

 

NITIPONG SELANON

How do you feel about the long break?

I’m very bored and want to go training!

What are the club doing to keep you all fit & positive?

Everyone trained according to the coach’s programme and sent a video report every day.

 

 

Apart from keeping fit, how are you spending your time?

Playing games and watching TV.

When do you think the season will restart – or do you think it will be cancelled?

I don’t know but I want to come back to the race as soon as possible.

Any message to Port fans who are also stuck at home bored?

Right now, I want fans to take care of their health. As we know our team is having a problem right now. Better to encourage each other to handle the problem better.

 

JOSIMAR RODRIGUES

How do you feel about the long break?

The long break isn’t good either for players or fans. But we know that’s important to control the pandemic. Health comes first!

What are the club doing to keep you all fit & positive?

Since we stopped we got programmes to do at home and must report to the club with videos daily!

Apart from keeping fit, how are you spending your time?

We are a lot of time at home. We can do everything and there are still 5 hours until time to sleep. 😂😂😂
But I like spending my time with books, playing with my daughter, playing guitar, video games etc!

 

 

When do you think the season will restart – or do you think it will be cancelled?

I don’t know what to think. Honestly. But I hope the league restarts on 2 May!

Any message to Port fans who are also stuck at home bored?

The message to Port fans is: “stay home“.

 

MARTIN STEUBLE

How do you feel about the long break?

I think the biggest issue is the uncertainty! Its a situation noone ever had to face before. As a football player you want to be out there training and working towards the weekend when it’s showtime. As an athlete you need the daily training session, they tire you out and give you peace of mind that you’ve done your job for the day. A big piece of the daily routine is missing. I struggle sleeping if I don’t work out. I hope this will end rather sooner than later.

What are the club doing to keep you all fit & positive?

The club has done a tremendous job in following the rules and regulations of the government. Also we players are updated about the latest news. They inform us about what to do or more like what not to do. As players we have a huge responsibility to operate as role models in a crisis like that.

We got training plans from our fitness coach Rafa who is doing an outstanding job in motivating the players or adjusting training plans for injured players. He is always available for us if we have questions. We have to record ourselves and send it in. In the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of it but I start enjoying it. Just to see that everybody follows through and to see how and in what environment they work out gives you a feeling of teamwork.

We have great characters in the team, I think everybody is fully aware that you have to motivate yourself. Everybody is responsible for himself to be in the best shape he can possibly get with the circumstances given at the moment.

Apart from keeping fit, how are you spending your time?

The main thing is keeping in touch with your family and friends. Funny enough a crisis like that brings back old friends or people who are not really close to you start checking in on you. It’s a lovely feeling; I think thats one way to lift each other up to spread love and show appreciation.

I’m pretty sure I’m done with Netflix! I need like Netflix 2.0! Standup comedy is my favourite thing to watch, Sebastian Maniscalco for example.

When do you think the season will restart – or do you think it will be cancelled?

Since this is not in my hands I don’t waste any thoughts on that. I try to stay fit and sane and wait for further announcements.

Any message to Port fans who are also stuck at home bored?

Even tho the official numbers of infected people is not as high as in other countries PLEASE stay at home as it saves lives. You don’t want to be rocking up at the PAT Stadium and the guy that’s usually next to you is not there anymore! We all have a social responsibility – let’s make sure we all pass this crisis together.

Cant wait to see all of you at PAT Stadium hopefully very very soon. Stay safe and sane!

 

Thanks guys for answering our questions! Hope we see you in action again soon!

 

Tim Russell

Tim Russell

The founder and editor of The Sandpit, Tim has been in SE Asia since 2003 and in Bangkok since 2012, where he runs a travel tech business. Tim has followed Port FC since 2014, and is also a fan of his hometown club Coventry City, and French club AS St-Etienne. He has written for the likes of Football365, ITV.com, NME and The Quietus, and is a regular contributor to God Is In the TV. He's a keen photographer and his work can be seen on his website.

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