Self-Isolation and a lock on football operations for now has resulted in one of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s lethal attackers in Nikola Taneski to return home to Canberra to be closer to his family following his strong start to the year with Rockdale Illinden.
Canberra born and bred, Taneski has spent most of his footballing career playing for clubs in the bright lights of the big smoke in Sydney.
COVID-19 changed that however, prompting the 26-year-old to pack his bags albeit temporarily to spend time with his family.
“For me personally COVID-19 has had a fairly big impact on my day to day life.
“Obviously the lack of football has been driving me crazy but being born and raised in Canberra, I moved to Sydney to play in the NPL so for the first time since I was 17, I’ve been able to head home and really spend an extended period of time with my family.
“So as hard as all these adjustments have been, its kind of been a blessing of sorts being able to come home, see family and take a step back from what’s been a pretty hectic eight years in Sydney and the current events in the world.
“It’s been a really positive thing for me being able to spend a considerable amount of time around my family especially with my two young nephews Oliver and Sebastian who come up and watch my games in Sydney every other weekend.
“It’s been perfect timing also with my father preparing for retirement and beginning renovations on our family home so I’ve been able to dedicate a good portion of my time with him and the house.”
Taneski has not let this sudden halt to the football season stop his progress in training and keeping in shape with consistent sessions organised in getting the attacker ready for a hopeful return to NPL football.
“I’ve thankfully been able to get daily sessions in at my old junior club’s facilities during the time off.
“It’s been a bit surreal coming back and being able to train in an environment I hadn’t seen in so many years.
“It’s been an adjustment and incredibly frustrating at times being so limited with the availability of training facilities and gyms but it’s made me appreciate the level of professionalism and quality that the standards of our training sessions and facilities have become.”
Thankfully for Taneski, the Rockdale star has been able to upskill himself academically, continuing his University studies during this down period.
“That’s correct, after I found out that the league was being put on hold temporarily, I shortly found out after that work would be suspended as well.
“This left me with only my University degree to keep me occupied so I’m thankful that the online classes are still running.”
Telling a footballer who is chasing his dreams with the game he loves but having to wait till restrictions have been eased has been a tough action to follow for most players.
Taneski was no different stating to Football NSW what he’s missed most about the world game.
“I miss so many aspects of the game, the team and the league.
“I miss coming into a Monday session and preparing for the week ahead with the boys and of course I miss competing the most.
“With our club’s mindset this year, we were hungry for the season to start and for success, so it’s been a bit of an adjustment having to be patient so we can then continue on as a team towards our goals for the season once it all restarts.
“I also understand that with everything that we are seeing around the world, a lot is happening with COVID-19 which is bigger than the game, so it’s important we all take the necessary safety measures so that we can get the league going again hopefully better and stronger than ever.
“I do miss my football very much though.”