Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley says he can't wait to experience a post Covid-19 world after the virus hit the pause button on his stag do, wedding and honeymoon as well as the Bannsiders' treble dream.
Football remains suspended in Northern Ireland while the fight against coronavirus still rages and the break came at a time when Oran Kearney's men were working on adding league title success and Irish Cup glory to their League Cup triumph.
The 36-year-old former Derry GAA hero is normally a man for the big sporting occasion but now he's keeping himself busy around his home in Kilrea while fiancée Emma is working on the Covid-19 wards at Altnagelvin Hospital.
While Emma has joined her brave colleagues on the frontline, Eoin is keeping a positive outlook despite seeing his football season, stag do, wedding and honeymoon placed on ice.
"It's disappointing to put the wedding back but you really feel for those who are struggling with the virus," says the former Glenavon ace.
"Emma is a nurse working on the Covid-19 wards at Altnagelvin Hospital and as you can imagine she is very busy. I've the greatest admiration for all the work the healthcare staff are doing in the fight against this disease.
"My sister Ciara and sister-in-law Aine O'Neill are also midwives and I've huge respect for everyone working hard in these difficult times."
Bradley adds: “We will get our day out when the time is right, we have been together for 16 years and we can wait a little longer.
“That’s the football, stag do, wedding and honeymoon gone. This virus has taken me out by the roots!”
Eoin and Emma’s big match was set for Friday, May 29 at the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny but the celebrations are now likely to kick off in November.
I don’t think anyone wants to see a title handed out now. We won the League Cup and were the form team, chasing more success in the league and Irish Cup.
“We are looking at early November at the same venue but you just have to hope the situation is a lot better then,” added ‘Skinner’ who joined Emma and the kids, Cathaoir (14) and Cara (9) in Kilrea GAC’s 24-hour 1,000km relay challenge in aid of NI Chest, Heart and Stroke on Saturday.
“Hopefully the next date doesn’t clash with a big game if we are back playing football.
“There’s nothing we can do about it and I missed the stag do as well in Newcastle earlier this month.
“We had a honeymoon booked for Cancún, Mexico on June 26 but we got a refund for that.
“This lockdown with no sport isn’t easy.
“I’ve been off work and doing a lot of building work around the house.”
Bradley’s early sporting passion was GAA, with his competitive juices flowing at St Pat’s College in Maghera. Football didn’t really grab a hold of his heart until he was 28.
Now he’s one of the Irish League’s most gifted and dangerous frontmen, part of a Coleraine side that was threatening to win a treble before the virus arrived on these shores.
“It’s been tough, I’ve been training on my own but I miss the boys and the games,” he adds.
“Fortunately no-one in our family is unwell.
“The days are long but I’m generally optimistic about life.
“My second last game before we finished was against Larne in the Irish Cup and some of the best games and memories of my career have been from that tournament.
“Hopefully, we can get a chance to play the last three games. The Government have their five step recovery plan but maybe things can move quicker than some feared.”
The Northern Ireland Football League has said it will ask the Irish FA for an extension to the 2019-2020 season and it would be a terrible shame for the campaign to be brought to a premature end.
“There are rumours going round about the season but I don’t want to give up on it,” added Bradley.
“I’d love to get the games played, especially the Irish Cup games, whenever it is possible.
“But is there going to be any difference between June and August? I don’t know.
“The virus will still be here and we don’t have testing but hopefully we can find some solution.
“I don’t believe it would be fair on the clubs to declare the season null and void and when it comes to sharing Uefa money through European qualification it becomes difficult to please everyone.
“I don’t think anyone wants to see a title handed out now. We won the League Cup and were the form team, chasing more success in the league and Irish Cup.
“No-one knew this was going to happen and we just need to make the right decisions. We would all love to finish the season but it’s got to be a safe environment for everyone.
“I think it’s not so much the players’ concerns which are a big factor, it’s their families and any possible impact there.
“No football match is worth one person’s life but hopefully some resolution can be found. Coleraine were flying and I’d love to get the season finished.”
Meanwhile, Linfield are set to release talented striker Ryan Waide from the club.
Waide had been on loan at Dungannon Swifts before football was halted in Northern Ireland and follows Chris Casement and Josh Robinson in Windsor Park exits.