Well respected Central Coast Mariners’ National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Women’s skipper Gabrielle Blanch’s words were to the point in light of the pandemic crippling our globe at the moment, “The suspension of Football has really changed my way of life,”.
The talented and admired footballer up at the Coast has continued on with her day to day routine albeit in different ways.
“I have gone from having a very busy on the go schedule where basically every minute of every day and week was planned out, to now having a lot of spare time and energy.
“It has truly made me realise how easy it is to take the simple pleasures in life for granted.
“I am lucky at this stage that this is the only way COVID-19 has affected me personally.”
Blanch has been fortunate that her day to day job away from football has continued to operate amidst all the unfortunate job cuts the country has recently seen.
“I am lucky to work in a role where I can operate remotely, so I’ve been working from my home office – however as a Group Human Resources Manager, the stress of managing people through this difficult time, dealing with possibilities of what may very well come, and the after effects of that on my Team has certainly taken its toll.”
One major positive Blanch has been able to take from this has been that she has spent more time with her loved ones, something many people take for granted along with her other favourite love, football.
“I have been laying low with my little family spending so much time with them, but kicking a ball as often as i can – sometimes bare feet (with a cider in the hand) in the front yard, other times in my kit, with a full session setup at the oval.
“I’m mindful of the positive impact football has always had on my mental health so I am constantly taking any opportunity possible to have a ball at my feet.”
It’s been all systems go in the keeping fit department with Blanch ticking over ensuring she’s ready to go should all leagues kick off in the not too distant future.
That and creating video sessions for her Under 17’s squad at the club has only further kept her mind at easy with the beautiful game.
“We have a home training program which our club Technical Director rolled out last week.
“I have also been filming training content for my Under 17’s Team, we rolled out a bit of an engagement piece for the Girls to complement the strength and conditioning program.
“The filming has meant I’ve been able to pull on the boots and get a bit competitive (and sweaty) I’m really just relying on doing a little bit of something, every day.”
As mentioned earlier in the piece, Blanch has been admired for years not just as a player but as a coach and mentor and it is just that, that she is missing from the world game.
“I miss the mentorship platform football (coaching) brings, and the social interaction that playing brings.
“I also miss the sanity it provides – finishing a hectic day at work followed by Coaching my Girls and then training with my Team always gave me a great ability to reset.
“I also miss the competitive environment.
“I think this time is a great opportunity for everyone to be grateful for our usual way of life and perhaps value the freedom we are afforded when we are able to return.”
The Central Coast star hopes that the football family follows suit with the guidelines and restrictions placed by the government ensuring we get back to normality and that includes playing football.
“I hope our community understands the importance of us being responsible during this time, especially the younger generations who might think they don’t need to worry so much.
“It’s easy to assume dinner and drinks at a mate’s might be a harmless exercise right now, it’s just a small sacrifice for a period of time to slow the spread and look after our Older generations.”
Here here Gabby, well said, well spoken, stay safe everyone.
Check out the clips below Gab prepared for her Under 17’s Central Coast team during this current football lockout below.