Preston North End centre half Ben Davies is using the lockdown to learn a new skill, having started to learn the basics of sign language!
The Lilywhites’ No.6 is trying to keep his days filled with productive things and says that knowing it is a shared experience across the world, makes it a bit easier to cope with.
Speaking to PNE.Com from his home, the defender said: “This is helped by the fact that everyone in the world is in the same boat. If it was an individual thing, it would be a lot more difficult, but the fact that everyone is going through it together at the same time is more reassuring and I am just doing as we are told and going by the rules laid out by the government.
“I am not on my own in the house, which is good. I moved out from home when I was 15, so I lived on my own for quite a while an I haven’t seen my family for a while, so it is the same as everyone. Everyone is missing out on seeing people and it is a bit difficult in that way, but even if my family were just around the corner, I wouldn’t be able to go and see them anyway, so it is one of those things you have to deal with.
“You can go out and exercise, but it has come to the point where going to the supermarket is good, because it is something to do!
“Everyone is doing the same thing and I have started to learn sign language. It is something different and something to do; so I have been learning that.
“I started a jigsaw… but it is still not finished after a few weeks and I am trying to find things to take up a bit of time and by the time you realise it is tea time, you put a movie on and then it is ready for bed – you get in a bit of a cycle and stick by it.”
The Barrow-born man says that the contact he has had with the manager and his coaching staff has been tempered to just the right levels: “The staff have handled it very well, considering it is a new experience for them as well,” he continued.
“They have let us breathe, but they have kept on top of us at the same time, without being too persistent or annoying.
“We have been in regular contact, but it hasn’t been too much and all the players are aware at all time what they are required to do so they can come back ready.
“It is not like the off season where you have a few weeks, it could be a couple of weeks and then we get back playing, so we have to keep a high standard and the staff have kept on top of that as well.
“I don’t think we will have too long after we are back in training before the games start. I think in the next two or three weeks we will be told by the staff to up our work at home, to be ready, as everyone will be aware we don’t have that long before a competitive game and with the position we are in, we need to come back ready to go, as every game is crucial.”
And that mini-season, whenever it happens to take place, will be a vital one for Ben and his team-mates: “It will be like a mini-tournament and league. It will be unique. No one has ever been in this situation before and everyone is in the same boat and we just need to make sure we can do what we can at home and be ready, because it is really important.
“Players who were playing regularly, the break will do us good, as long as we follow what the coaches are saying and come back ready. As everyone knows, the manager likes to play with a high intensity and to have two or three weeks rest and then pick it back up is important, so we all come back ready.
“We have a real chance if we can come back and attack these nine games. The club has had a few chances over the past years to get to the Premier League via the Play-Offs and hopefully there are a few boys with experience of the Play-Offs in this squad and if we can get there, then we can make it a success. We need to come back ready and not take time to get going, because every game will be crucial.”
The 24-year-old also believes that having the squad all close to full fitness will play to the team’s advantage when football comes to the fore again.
“Hopefully we will have the majority of the squad back fit and available. We believe in the squad we have got and if everyone is fit, we are a match for everyone.
“If anything, this break will have benefitted us a little bit, allowing us to have a break and then come back again and hopefully it will work out for us.”
Ben finished by thanking those key workers and advised that people help them by following the government’s very clear instructions of ‘stay home, save lives, protect the NHS’.
“I have got a couple of family members who work in the NHS and a couple of friends, who are still going to work and doing night shifts and putting themselves in danger and we are all thankful as a nation for the work that they are doing.
“Football takes a backseat at times like this and we have to listen to the advice, because it can affect every one of us and we should be thankful for the people who are trying to help us and we should all follow the rules to make it easier for them,” he added.