With a fighting mentality instilled in them by coach Adam Griffiths, the Northern Beaches side has been a force to be reckoned with throughout the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 2021 season, and Luca Kmet has been instrumental in their efforts.
Despite being disappointed that the stay-at-home restrictions have halted his team’s fight for finals football, Kmet is doing his best to keep a positive mindset and stay occupied during the lockdown, using the strength and conditioning plan provided by Manly United as a good chance to keep a clear mind.
“It can be a pretty difficult time, so just trying to keep busy and occupied… getting to the park and doing some running is a good start because it’s going to be hard just staying at home all day,” he said.
“We got a program from the strength and conditioning staff, and it just involves a bit of running and some ball work at the park. It doesn’t compare to match fitness, which is obviously the best type of fitness you can get, but it’s that type of running and time trial stuff that will keep us ticking over for this period.”
Touching on the importance of having a strong support system around you during tough times, Kmet emphasised the importance of keeping in touch with friends and family during the lockdown.
“I’ve got my brother back from America on his summer break, so I’ll probably get to spend a bit more time with him,” he explained.
“It’s hard to interact with people face-to-face, but technology is a pretty good thing so I’m getting calls on with my mates and there’s always that type of thing, you have text messages and can catch up with them over the phone and see how they’re all going and that type of stuff.
“I think that’s pretty important, keeping in contact with people so that’s a pretty good start.”
While he’s not able to get on to the pitch himself, he’s still filling his time with the world game, getting up early in the morning to watch the Euro 2020 tournament.
“I watched the Italy game at 5.00am, I woke up for that, so that was a good game and a good result for the Italians. Definitely getting up to watch those games now because I don’t have too many more commitments during the day.”
While the Euros are filling the football-shaped hole missing in his life, the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition can’t return soon enough.
“Hopefully it [the lockdown] doesn’t last for too long, only two weeks for now, so hopefully we can get back into football as soon as possible.”
“For us as a squad at Manly, we’ve sort of shown everyone that we’re definitely finals contenders and we can actually win the comp, so I think when we get back playing, we’re going to pick back up where we left off I guess and push for finals football.
“We’ve got a good opportunity to push higher up on the ladder and get into finals football and from the start of the season we knew we were capable of being able to do that too, so the last few games going into the finals we definitely want to push for a finals spot, and I think we can win it too.”
-By Madeline Riley