North Geelong Warriors’ star midfielder Ryan Opperman has urged fans to try and keep in a positive frame of mind as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the 2020 NPL football season.
The Warriors were hopeful of challenging for promotion into NPL1 for 2021, but those plans were brought to an abrupt halt as COVID19 took over the world.
Opperman, who finished runner-up in last year’s Best & Fairest after winning the award in 2018, admits he has had to adapt to the current climate but urged everyone to understand people’s health is the priority.
“It all feels very strange,” Opperman told FTBL. “Something like this doesn’t happen very often so it takes a while to process what’s actually occurring.
“As disappointing and frustrating as it is to not be playing we've got to remember what’s important in life and that peoples safety comes first above all.”
Opperman admits he feels like his teammates are chomping at the bit to get back on the field and back to training.
“The most exciting thing I’m looking forward to is putting on the Warriors shirt again and representing this great club,” he said. “Seeing all the boys again will no doubt put a smile on my face.
“From seeing them four times a week to nothing is a very strange feeling. A lot of people including myself get that sense of home when being around this club and it brings a certain happiness that’s hard to express.
“Seeing the club open and fully functioning is what I’m most excited for.”
Opperman urged fans to do the right thing and follow the guidelines from the federal and state governments. He also encouraged them to take time out to enjoy being around loved ones.
“Be patient and enjoy this time with your family. Football will be back again and I think I can speak for everyone involved that it makes you appreciate the game even more.
“It won’t be too long till we are down at Elcho Park back to our winning ways, showing what this club is all about.”
Opperman admits he is still keeping himself busy despite the world-wide lockdown.
“I’m very lucky to still be working full time, so that has helped to keep me busy. To keep fit each player including myself was given a program to follow throughout however long this period may be.
“Ensuring we all keep fit and healthy is pivotal so that when we do start again we’re ready to go straight away.”