By Rob Wheeler
Cardiff Met’s Eliot Evans has called for patience as Welsh club and international football goes into cold storage.
The university Welsh Premier side’s striker – and head of coaching at the Met’s academy – was due to win his third cap at Wales C level against England on March 24.
But that fixture, along with every other club and international game at every level, has been suspended as the coronavirus pandemic sends global sport into shutdown mode.
Every player at every club in Wales – men and women, elite and grass roots – faces uncertainty over when they might play again with UEFA expected to soon announce a one-year postponement to this summer’s Euro 2020 finals.
Reflecting on recent events including the postponement of the Wales C international, Evans, 28, said: “It’s been put on the back burner for now, which is fair enough as there are more important things than football, as frustrating as it is.
“When I was named, it was as proud a moment as the first time I got a call up. The first time is always quite special with the novelty of it but you don’t know if you are going to get another opportunity to do it again so it’s obviously a massive honour.
“It’s just frustrating, really, that the game has had to be postponed.
“Everyone has got to be patient at all levels of football. We all love football but life is a bit more important.
— Eliot Evans (@EliotEvans26) May 19, 2019
“With lives at risk then we’ve got to be sensible about it. Football will be back, whether that is a few weeks, few months or even longer. But let’s hope it’s not too long!”
Welsh Premier League fixtures have been postponed until April 4 and the Cardiff Met forward admitted he did miss not having a game last weekend as the Archers’ fixture against Cefn Druids was shelved and there was no football on TV.
“Football is a big part of everyone’s lives,” added Evans.
“You get used to your routine with the football on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and it was obviously an odd weekend. It’s about getting used to watching re-runs of old games. I had Premier League Years on yesterday which was good to watch!”
Despite the games being postponed the Met players are still training but are taking extra care during the sessions.
“We’re taking a bit more precaution. We’re not drinking from the same water bottles, which you tend to do when you are a team and we are not shaking hands before training.
“We’re all young athletes who are used to having active lifestyles, so if you’re sat around for too long then it’s going to affect you mentally and physically.
“We don’t know when our next game is going to be so it’s important to keep at it. If it does change when football comes back then we will be well prepared.”
When asked what it would be like if they did have to train in isolation, Evans replied: “It would be tough.
Congratulations to @emlynnlewis @dylanrees1 @EliotEvans26 @JoelyEdwards and @Will_Evs8 on their Wales C team selection, a credit to the club. Thanks also goes to the other CMUFC squad members who make such selection possible. #met
— Cardiff Met Uni FC (@CardiffMetFC) March 11, 2020
“I saw on Instagram Sergio Ramos doing some running on a gym at home. We’re not on that kind of money so I don’t have the luxury of having a gym at my own house.
“Fingers crossed, it doesn’t come and we can keep training as a team.”
There have been lots of different opinions on how the delay to football, and sport in general, could pan out.
Evans hopes the domestic league season can be completed but admits to fears the suggested date of next month may well be too soon for football to return.
“I don’t think anyone has any real appetite for the season to be void. There are players at all levels who have worked really hard to get to this stage.
“For Met, we are in the Cup semi-final which is a good opportunity of getting into Europe on the back of that.
“There’s loads of different scenarios that could happen. From what I’ve read, I don’t envisage games being back on the 4th April as it is meant to get worse. With the amount of cases there are at the moment I can’t see us playing football in April.”