Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford discusses how he is adjusting to life away from USM Finch Farm, fatherhood and supporting our NHS heroes...
I am currently back in the North East with my partner Megan, my son, mum and dad, and my dog. Obviously, we’d love to be playing football right now but, with the current situation, there’s a bigger picture to think of around the world.
Everyone’s doing their duty as a nation of people, and the NHS has been phenomenal.
I joined everyone in my parents’ street to applaud our doctors and nurses and every other NHS worker on Thursday night. It was a nice touch to recognise what they are doing at this time and demonstrate how we are all thinking about them. We need to take care of ourselves and do what’s best for the nation and for the world.
We know how important Everton in the Community is and the players have a massive part to play in that. It’s part of our job. We want to give back and know how much the fans and community appreciate it.
We’re all helping out since the Blue Family campaign was launched. I saw Mason and the manager making phone calls and Yerry doing his Spanish lessons! As players, we always get involved and I’ll be making calls next week to check on a few people, hopefully lift their spirits and make sure they know the Club is here for them, whatever they need. I am looking forward to it.
I’m keeping fit. I’ve had gym equipment delivered, I’m going on bike rides, and little things like that are keeping me ticking over and helping me stay fresh and healthy.
Megan bought me the Tyson Fury book – I think he’s great – so I’ve been passing the time reading that and learning more about his life from the start, as well as playing Fortnite on the Xbox!
I’ve also been looking after my little one a lot more now I’m not in my football routine. There’s been a few 6am starts with him but I enjoy it!
As players, we have individual training programmes and all the medical and fitness staff have been brilliant in helping us. Someone is always on the end of the phone if I need them. We know Everton is a great club and everyone’s always helping each other.
I saw the video of the young keeper training in his garden. I think I’ll have to encourage my dad to get his boots back on and help me do things like that! Kells (Alan Kelly, goalkeeper coach) sent me some footwork drills to keep sharp and I’ll see if my dad can strike some balls at me in the next few days.
I’m missing the day-to-day banter with the lads and staff at USM Finch Farm but, as I say, there’s a bigger picture right now and the focus has to be to save lives and do our job of staying home and protecting the NHS.
We’ve got a players’ WhatsApp group and I’m keeping in touch the most with Mason Holgate. I was with him on England Under-21 duty the day I signed for Everton and we’ve been mates for a long time.
The manager was still implementing his ideas after joining us in December and we were still learning from him. Hopefully, when this outbreak is over, we can go back to our normal lives as quickly as possible and get working hard again. I’ll definitely be ready and raring to go.
We were improving with Everton and looking to finish the season strongly, and with England we’d worked hard to qualify for the Euros. Clearly, though, the postponement of that tournament was the right thing to do.
The focus now is to help save as many lives as we can and support our NHS heroes. We can think about football and get back to enjoying something that means so much to us once we’ve helped play our part in this.