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Saturday, August 1, 2020 - 2:10 AM by Brock Higgins

It would be fair to say it's been quite the interesting year for us all so far and from a football sense, I was in the best shape I've been in for years and we were looking great as a team back in March, but now here we are and it's amazing how quickly things feel back to normal.

Going back a few months, we had done the whole pre-season and everyone was fit, happy and healthy, and looking forward to the season. We had just played a scratch match against ourselves on a Friday night and the next week we were going to play the first of two proper pre-season games, and then it would be Round 1 so everything was ready to go.

So we played that Friday night scratch match and everyone was starting to whisper about how the season might get shutdown and everything. Then the next day we got the word that it had been so that was definitely interesting.

Personally I was probably the fittest I had been in a few years up until that point so it was kind of deflating. And as a team, we were looking in pretty good shape at that stage as well so it wasn’t the best news we've ever had.

The first couple of weeks from there when the restrictions were all being locked in, we didn’t do too much. The club just told me to take two weeks off from any fitness work and then they'd send through a running program, and then we were able to train by ourselves or with a partner at the park. 

Most of the boys live in Freo so they could find someone pretty easily but I live out in Scarborough so I just started going on little coastal jogs in the afternoons. I was doing boxing a couple of nights a week as well and that was about the extent I was doing until we were allowed back at the club on May 31.

I went through stages during that whole time where one week I'd be feeling good about there still being footy this year and the next week thinking there was no chance. But in WA it was a bit of a case where the virus never really got too bad and when the restrictions started getting lifted I was feeling good about still getting some footy, but I wasn't sure if the WAFL could get the comp up and running financially or if we could have some crowds. To be honest it all feels like a long time ago now.

We were training in groups of 10 when we were able to come back to training, and the oval was divided up unto three sections and you couldn’t go anywhere near another group. So we had an early and late group, and the early group would have to train and jump off the oval, straight in their cars and not talk to anyone, and drive off so the late group could come in and park, get straight out of their car and go straight on the oval. 

It was a strange sort of set up for a few weeks that's for sure, but then you started to get used to that and then we were able to train in larger groups. Then I remember the first night we were able to do contact, we pretty much played a full game which was a lot of fun. It really does seem like a long time ago now even though it was only six weeks ago.

But fast forward to now and it just feels like a normal late July or early August where you are in the middle of the season. In a way we sort of are in the middle of the season because we only have six games to go even though we've only played two so far. Everything is just back to normal in a lot of ways.

Away from footy, I was pretty lucky during the whole period where my work actually picked up if anything. I work in construction and a lot of people were at home not spending money but wanted jobs done around the house, so I was OK. A few of the boys were affected a little bit I think, but as a whole group I don’t think we went too bad after it all which is good.

Now all of a sudden we have a big game to look forward to on Saturday against Claremont. This is the biggest game of the season so far for us and it's a really good test to see where we're at. We've defeated East Freo and West Perth, and no disrespect to them, but we think Claremont along with Subiaco are probably the best team we are going to face this year. It's a great test for us and the boys are looking good at training this week. We are relatively unscathed so far too this season and we should get a couple of key players back so it should be a good day.