Pretty much everyone, everywhere in Canada has had to reckon with being stuck at home this past month. It’s something we’ll have to come to terms with for a while, it seems.
We’ve all had to find ways to pass the time, whether it’s a movie, a book, or re-living 2019 CPL classics. What’s it like, though, if you’re now isolated in a country you’ve only called home for a couple months?
FC Edmonton’s Swedish midfielder and eCPL dynamo Erik Zetterberg would know. Unlike some of the CPL’s international newcomers — notably the Atlético Ottawa players sharing a house — he’s been all alone in a new apartment (and a new country) these past few weeks.
“It was okay for two and a half weeks, but after that the mind goes away a little bit, you go a little bit crazy,” Zetterberg told CanPL.ca. “I got my apartment 12 hours before (the CPL’s training camps officially shut down), so I was kind of lucky, otherwise it would be a little bit of a struggle. But I haven’t seen too much of the city.”
Twelve hours? Lucky indeed. Who knows what it’d be like shopping for an apartment at the moment.
The 23-year-old is in Edmonton now, more than 6,000 kilometres from home in his first footballing venture away from Europe. That’s incredibly tough at the best of times, let alone without any actual football.
Thankfully, Zetterberg had participated in the Eddies’ first two weeks of training camp, so at least he met his new teammates. He says that his fellow Eddies have been a major help for him adjusting to all this.
“I got to know some guys, and I’ve been playing video games now with some teammates as well,” he said. “I could say that I know them quite well, I feel comfortable in the group.”
Playing video games to pass the time in self-isolation is certainly something Zetterberg and this writer have in common, as do many CPLers.
“I’ve been playing too much to be honest,” Zetterberg laughed. “But it’s nice, it makes the hours go.”
There are some more productive activities too, of course. Just like other CPL clubs, FC Edmonton has been keeping in close contact with players, providing fitness routines for them to complete at home.
Life has become a bad Samuel Beckett play the past few weeks, and so it’s helpful to stick to a daily routine, to avoid losing it too much. Zetterberg explains that he’s got his days pretty well mapped out by now.
“Normally, the first thing I do is we have a (virtual) meeting with the team, then I call back home to family and close friends, just to see how everybody’s doing,” he said. “After that we have the workouts, then we gather round some friends in the team and play some more video games, just to make the day go.”
It’s working out fairly well so far, but it’s hardly the way Zetterberg would’ve chosen to be introduced to Canada.
“It is what it is,” he summarized.
He added: “It’s the same for everybody, so it’s not going to get better if you just complain about it.”