The essentials will soon be packed for Valour FC and all the participants heading to PEI for the Canadian Premier League’s Island Games.
The kits and cleats are ready, as is the training session gear, athletic therapy equipment. There’s also the cards, the poker set, the Xboxes and PS4s…
“I’m bringing my Xbox, a couple of books and I’ve actually been taking a university psychology course online,” said Valour FC midfielder Brett Levis. “There’s going to be a number of things guys can do or bring to help keep ourselves busy, including Netflix and other stuff like that.
“But more than that, at this point everyone is just really excited. We’re at the point where we just want to play games. Of course it’s going to be difficult at times. There will be things that don’t go our way, things that aren’t the way we maybe want them to be. But everyone is going to be in the same situation and we’re just going to have to deal with it.
“Sure it might be difficult to be in a hotel room for so long, but knowing you have a game to prepare for will certainly help guys get through it.”
Valour FC will be heading to Charlottetown Saturday on a charter that will begin in Victoria picking up Pacific FC, before stops in Calgary for Cavalry FC, then to the Alberta capital for FC Edmonton. After the stop here in Winnipeg the plane will be making a direct flight to the island.
Levis is five classes away from his degree at the University of Saskatchewan, FYI, and has to write the final exam for this current course on August 15th.
“I’m sure hoping that doesn’t interfere with our plans,” he said with a laugh. “I’ll make it work.”
Upon arrival in Charlottetown all CPL players will begin the strict protocols that go with life in the bubble. But as Valour FC co-captain Daryl Fordyce stressed, that’s a welcome trade off just to have the opportunity to be back on the pitch again playing matches that matter.
“The league has done a tremendous job in educating us already on the health and safety,” said Fordyce. Every team will have their own part of the hotel that we stay in. It will be challenging at the start because you’ll probably forget the little things. But it’s like anything and as humans we adapt and get used to things.
“We know the protocols are important. We have to wear masks. We have to sanitize a lot. We have to social distance. Now there’s a lot more to think about to make sure you’re going by the protocols. Once we get on that pitch we’ll feel free. And then once we’re finished well go straight back to the protocols, keep the masks on and have the proper hygiene.”
Interestingly, Fordyce said even celebrations will have to change due to the new reality that comes with COVID-19.
“We’ll have to come up with something,” he said with a laugh. “When you score a goal the adrenaline takes over so that’s going to be challenging. But, we’ll deal with that whenever we put the ball in the net. Hopefully, that’s a lot.”