It was meant to be a new beginning for one of the Sutherland Sharks’ new 2020 signings in Brad Walker, COVID-19 put an abrupt halt to his proceedings at Seymour Shaw, robbing the defender an opportunity to make his mark with his new club.
“One hundred percent, we had a really good pre-season and then got into it when the season commenced but then the unexpected happened.
“The COVID-19 issue put a stop to everything not just football which hasn’t been easy.
“Personally, the hardest part was not being able to see family and friends. Not being able to see loved ones is very difficult, especially when it is such a normal part of your life.
“Also, not being able to have a beer with your mates has been terrible. Socially having to be cooped up at home has been a huge struggle.
“During the down time though, I have got more involved in online training sessions, reading and the extra time at home has allowed me to cook a bit more.
“I am giving this carnivore diet a go now.
“Also, ‘The Last Dance’ documentary couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve never looked more forward to a Monday in my life.”
Walker has also picked up a few new hobbies to add to his already extensive list.
“I would say cleaning.
“For some reason over this time at home I can’t stand clutter and mess. Weird I know!
“And I’ve really enjoyed watching sport documentaries on Netflix.
“I finally watched ‘Sunderland til I Die’ which is a great doco on what it is like to play and be part of a club outside of the English Premier League – My next one is the Sir Bobby Robson documentary.”
No matter which team the 30-year-old has played at, Walker has always enjoyed the banter part of the game as well as the team camaraderie something he shared at his former club Hakoah Sydney City East with the Sutherland Sharks being no different.
“Of course, I miss the dressing room the most.
“The banter with the lads and seeing your mates most days of the week is also high on the list.
“As any athlete will say, you also miss the competition and the battle on the weekends. That winning feeling and the chance to compete against others is something we crave.
“Hopefully, we are able to get back onto the pitch soon and enjoy doing what we love the most.”
Away from the game, Walker has kept rather busy both in his makeshift office as well as keeping himself in check with his fitness with fellow teammate and F45 guru Marc Warren keeping the fellow defender honest.
“Work wise I think I have been busier now then when things were normal.
“Now as soon as you wake up you are in the office and technically you don’t leave.
“Without being able to go to the gym, go to dinners and training, work has been imperative for those lucky to still be operating – So it doesn’t stop. Hopefully as restrictions ease, people will be able to switch off again and enjoy the simple things in life which I am sure many have taken for granted.
“Without gyms and training sessions I have gotten involved in some online fitness classes, going on long road runs as well as enjoying a morning session down at Coogee Beach with some of my ex-Hakoah teammates.
“I am even squeezing in a PT session with the one and only Marc Warren down at Cronulla.”
Although enjoying a little bit of down time, the new Sharks recruit is all but ready to return to the football pitch in doing what he does best and that’s play the world game.
“I miss the sport very much and honestly cannot wait till we get that green light to do it once more.
“As things slowly start to ease with regards to restrictions, we still need to be super careful.
“We are getting so close to things going back to normal and hopefully getting back to doing the things we all love.
“Enjoy the opportunity to get out and about but please stay safe, keep your distances, keep washing your hands and abide by the restrictions that are now in place.
“The end is near, let’s keep working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.”