The Premier League is just ten days away from its restart after a three-month emergency break due to the coronavirus pandemic that engulfed the entire world.
Fans and players alike are now starving for football. With just 1 positive result recorded in the last two rounds of COVID-19 testing, the league is raring to go. So is Mason Mount, like most other players.
"It’s very exciting.It’s something we’ve all been waiting for a long time, to get back playing when the time was right, so we are all excited.
"To get the games back is great and it’s something we all wanted if it was possible. We all love playing games and representing Chelsea in the Premier League and we are all looking forward to getting started again.
"It’s been a long time since we played and the two months we had away in lockdown certainly seemed like such an age! So it’s been great to be able to get back out on the pitch at Cobham and do what we love."
The situation has been really difficult for everyone, including for footballers whose entire lives are defined by playing, and have never had to deal with a break this long from it. While their likelihood of dying or suffering from the disease were and remain relatively very low, the sudden change in lifestyle was unsettling to many — just like most others affected around the world. It is perhaps unsurprisingly that some players, including Mount, were found flouting lockdown rules.
That said, it is a testament to the professionalism of the players who continued to work hard in their home in order to maintain their fitness levels as much as possible, and not find it too difficult to cope once football and training resumes.
"I think I speak on behalf of all the boys when I say we had to ensure we stayed fit during the lockdown, ready for when we could go back to work. It was important to remain active and to be honest, I think most footballers find it difficult to stay too far away from a football. I know I’ve been kicking one around my house all the time!
"Training has been great, and the boys are looking sharp. I think at the start, having been away for so long, there was a little rustiness to shake off but we are back to normal now and raring to go again."
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been the only recent massive global event. The inhuman killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in the USA has led to worldwide protests against policy brutality and racial injustice. Football clubs and players all around the world have gotten involved as well, or at least have shown solidarity.
For several years now, Chelsea, as a club, have been on the forefront fighting against discrimination in and around football, and it’s a cause that’s important for the players as well. Last week, they all took a knee in symbolic support of the Black Lives Matter movement, using their platform as sports stars to help spread the message that’s becoming increasingly necessary and crucial in our modern society.
"It was something we wanted to do. The picture we sent out speaks for itself and the message that goes with it is so powerful. We all need to stick together. Enough is enough and that is the message we wanted to send out.
"As footballers we are quite fortunate to have a fairly big following on social media, so we wanted to use that platform as a way of putting our message across and show that we are all sticking together.
"Everyone in the team was fully behind the decision to take the knee and show our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement."
-Mason Mount; source: Chelsea FC
Let us all unite as human beings indeed, on and off the pitch, in football and all other walks of life.