MEMPHIS, Tenn. — From the raucous crowd of a season opener, to the deafening silence of a hiatus, 901 FC got one game in the books before soccer was halted.
“We got teased. You go through that big crescendo of preseason to get to that first game and then that’s it. We have to start from scratch. But we’ll take starting from scratch if we get to start,” said coach Tim Mulqueen.
And finally 901 is on the pitch again. Monday marked the first day since early March 901 was able to get on the field again. And these guys couldn’t be more excited about practice.
“Just a lot of enthusiasm, excitement and joy, not only to be back playing football but to be around each other,” said Mulqueen.
As for the logistics, well, there’s a lot of them. 901 FC first had to get approval from the city and the health department. And now have to follow several guidelines.
“The players come in staggered times, they answer their questionnaire, have their temperature taken, they really don’t interact. Then they walk through through what we call a free zone, that is lined here on the field, to get to their quadrant. Then we have the exercises set in their quadrant, so they never leave it,” said Mulqueen.
And with that, coach Mulqueen is becoming an expert in social distancing.
“Like if a ball rolls to me, I can’t touch it, I can’t kick it back, you’ve got to let it sit there, and sanitize it and bring in a new ball,” said Mulqueen.
Giving everyone new found respect for not just the game but training as well.
“What it’s done for all of us, is let us appreciate the time together, the time that we get to do the sport we love. So not a moment was wasted. I think that will be the prevailing outcome to this. Is we understand how precious this is and we are going to take advantage of those times we have together,” said Mulqueen.
Now here’s hoping the return of games is next.