Around the Clubs

Happy feet, mum not so – NPL lockdown life

August 19th, 2021

While all of us are now in lockdown, spare a thought for the North Coast Football National Premier League (NPL) youth squads.
After being in Newcastle for their last game – against Adamstown – players, coaches and staff returned home and had to go into lockdown.
That period finally came to an end on Friday night – so they enjoyed one day of freedom before the State Government ordered a statewide stay-at-home order from 5pm on Saturday.
We caught up with one of the young players affected by the double-whammy, Coffs Harbour’s Jack Lemair.
“I had one day out and went round to a mate’s place, and we played soccer,” Jack said.
Despite the ‘in-out-in’ rollercoaster of lockdown life, the 15-year-old has for the most part been able to keep on top of things.
“Exercise is allowed so I’ve been going on runs and keeping fit,” he said.
Jack is part of the North Coast NPL 15s and they are flying high in the competition in third place.
The players have been given physical assignments, “so we’ll still be in top form when we come back,” Jack said.
“This week we have a team run, where everyone has to do 12.5 kilometres, so that’s 204km combined,” he said.
Jack has been fortunate too in that he lives close to a sports ground, and has been kicking a ball there, as well as indoors at home.
Asked how the walls were standing up to the in-home football work, he quipped “I think mum’s a bit angry”.
School studies too have remained on track through the fortnight of lockdown.
“We haven’t been doing any Zoom, but there’s work that we’ve got to do at home on the computer. That’s good because I didn’t want to fall behind,” he said.
For now, like all in the football community, Jack is just sweating on a change in fortunes and the words ‘game on’.

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