Members of the Durham Lords men’s soccer team are worried they won’t be able to play for club teams this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lords midfielder Marcellus Paul says he’s disappointed the summer season likely won’t happen.
“It really sucks to look at it from you know we’re sitting here and in a couple of months the season is supposed to start in April, May we’re not even going to be looking at a possibility of play just because of everything that is going on right now,” Paul says.
The Lords won their first Canadian title in November against the VIU Mariners and many of them play club soccer to hone their skills.
Team captain Aidan Donaldson says he wasn’t expected to play for a club this summer but he had the option to play for a team of his choosing.
“If I was going to play in League 1 I was going to go play with Unionville Milliken Soccer Club as I have a friend that used to coach there, you know wego back as he used to coach me a long time ago so those doors are always open,” he says.
Donaldson says the Whitby Iroquois is another option because Lords’ assistant coach Jens Kraemer is a coach there so many Durham team members play there throughout the summer.
“It will actually allow us to grow as a team and create that bond, cohesiveness among each other,” Donaldson says.
Lords’ head coach Dave Ashfield says he reached out to a couple of players and told them to stay safe.
“I don’t want them to do anything risky, obviously it hurts that they might not be able to play in the summer. Most of them told me that they’re training at home to keep themselves fit,” Ashfield says.
Ashfield says usually at this time of the year he’s focused on recruiting players.
“Obviously with this pandemic going on, I can’t do any recruiting so yeah a lot is different for me. All we think about is making sure everyone is healthy and safe, soccer or whatever else is at the back of our mind right now,” he says.
Donaldson says he stays at home, making sure his family is fine.
“You know this is the time where the youth may not be as vulnerable, you know everybody does have grandparents or parents that are hitting that age limit where they are more vulnerable, so you know self-quarantining is the way, kick it and relax,” Donaldson says.
Paul says it’s difficult to be on the sidelines because playing soccer or other sports is a way for athletes to escape from their everyday life issues.
“Not being able to go out on the field, court, whatever it may be is sad when that is the one place you are able to have a clear head,” he says.
Donaldson believes there are still some positives to be found in this difficult time.
“We can use this as times to catch up with old friends, start that hobby you always wanted to start, or even something as simple as taking some time to meditate and calm down the body and mind. Keep your head up and keep and rolling,” he says.
“There’s not much to do really in the day but to go out for a walk,” says Donaldson.