Finnish football club Vaasan Palloseura (VPS) joined the growing list of teams affected by the coronavirus pandemic this past week. The club reported four positive coronavirus results following regular testing, the first of which was announced last week. The entire team was quarantined following the result, with the positive members reported to be isolated at home and in good condition.
In order to prevent further risk, VPS continued to strive to adhere to set Covid-19 regulations. Aside from continued testing, the team prohibited any interaction with and participation of symptomatic team members, both in training and match events. Masks were worn at all times, and the proper safety guidelines regarding distance were followed.
Inevitably, the quarantine has had a big impact on the club. Restrictions have meant that VPS was only recently permitted to hold practice. The club continues to hold discussions with the AVI, the regional administrative agency, but it will be behind closed doors with no fans in attendance if the final games are to be played.
Despite the challenges, the club remains focused on achieving their goals, a situation not unfamiliar to their star midfielder, former Tulsa Roughnecks vice-captain Jeffrey Addai.
Addai’s personal drive has seen him overcome significant challenges. “It’s all about staying in shape and keeping my body ready,” Addai says. “On my own, I keep myself in game-condition, keep training so I can continue to be a better athlete, and maximize my value to those around me.”
Though challenging, the team has been able to get back to training. “
The team practiced at Elisa Stadion for the first time since the quarantine, finally moving away from team drills. Once together, we could gradually redirect the focus from physical fitness training to getting ball touches and working on the game,” shares Addai.
The remaining four games will be played in 12 days as VPS looks to close out its season.