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Simone Magill: Keeping up online banter with Everton players is crucial to easing difficult feelings of isolation



Simone Magill

Simone Magill

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Simone Magill

Simone Magill

Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Simone Magill

We are asking our sporting personalities how they are dealing with action coming to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected their daily lives.

Today, we speak to Everton and Northern Ireland footballer Simone Magill.

Q: How are you keeping?

A: It's a very strange time for us all, but I am keeping as best as I can do, trying to keep busy and keep training during this difficult time.

Q: How have you been affected?

A: We are all being told to stay at home and the club has been great in providing us all with individual programmes to do from home and all my exercise and fitness is getting done at home. I don't need to go out and do anything as such. That's keeping me busy. I'm studying a PhD as well and this has given me a lot of time to get my head stuck into that and get writing, which is time that I normally don't have.

I'm trying to get myself ahead with that and that's keeping me relatively busy from day to day, so I'm not really struggling to fill my days at the minute. That is all self-research anyway and we don't have classes as such. I just have meetings from time to time and we've set those up online.

Q: How are you keeping fit?

A: I am quite fortunate because I have my own bike and have a mechanism that I can use it indoors. That has been massive and it means I can do all my bike sessions inside.

In terms of the programmes that have been sent out, they are specifically tailored for us and it's making the most of what we are able to do. Everton have been great in sending us out equipment that we need to do the programmes from home.

Q: How are you maintaining morale, yours and the team?

A: The club is keeping in touch with us every day through various members of staff. It's very informal, just seeing how we are coping. In terms of the team we are doing activities like team quizzes weekly and yoga sessions via Zoom. We are trying to keep interacting with each other because we're not able to be with each other and see each other, so in terms of keeping that team camaraderie together those are great.

Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from at this time?

A: That's why we are doing the things that we are doing. We are so used to spending so much time with each other, especially on a day to day basis, and it's difficult to just go from that to being by yourself and being isolated to the point where you can't interact with anyone outside of your own household. It can be difficult for a lot of people and that's why doing these activities that are very informal and just a bit of banter are so important. It just means that we have a platform where we can still talk and have that banter - albeit not as regular as it would be when we are training every day with each other, but it's regular enough that we can interact and have that banter. I think it's very important because you don't want to lose that.

Q: Can you recommend a book, film or box set you think stay at home sports fans might enjoy?

A: We made our way through quite a few series. We watched The Stranger - everyone was recommending that to me - so I watched that and it was quite good. We've just started watching Tiger King on Netflix, which is crazy. We haven't got all the way through, but that's another one people were recommending.

Q: What life lessons are you learning from this?

A: I think it's teaching us all how much we probably took the little things that we were able to do for granted. That's probably what everyone is taking from this and it is showing us the things that we need to be grateful for.

It's a crazy time for everyone and the best thing for us to do is to stay at home, but hopefully one day soon we'll all be back to normality and take our experiences from this into that and be thankful for what we do have.

Q: What is the first thing you will do when all this is over?

A: I can't wait to get back with the team and to be back playing again. We just recently moved to a new ground and we only managed to play one game there, so I can't wait to be back there and playing.

Away from football, I cannot wait to go out for a coffee with my friends and just do little things like that.

Q: And your message to sports fans?

A: I hope that everyone is staying safe and staying well and that we'll all get through this. Hopefully one day soon we'll all be reunited and they can come to a game.

Belfast Telegraph