The second instalment of the PFA’s Podcast, Footballers’ Voice, has landed!  

The latest episode focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on three high-profile Australian footballers. 

Sydney FC’s Alex Wilkinson, Melbourne City FC and Matilda goalkeeper Lydia Williams and Brisbane Roar’s Scott McDonald chronicle their experiences since COVID-19 brought the football world to a standstill. 

The trio share how they are coping without their livelihoods and how they are spending their days in isolation. 

While all three footballers have been impacted by the pandemic differently, there has been one constant throughout the global viral outbreak and its repercussions for them all; the PFA and its services. 

Wilkinson, who serves as the President of the PFA Executive Committee, shares how he is now juggling his children’s home schooling, while maintaining hope he and his teammates will be given the opportunity to complete another record-breaking season with the Sky Blues.

However, most concerning for Wilkinson is the impact on his fellow footballers, many of whom are coming off contract at the end of May with little certainty around their futures. 

“The common feedback is that [we’ve] got a really anxious and concerned playing group at the moment because no one really knows what’s going to happen next,” Wilkinson told Footballers’ Voice. 

“I guess as players, everyone is very much in limbo and just waiting to see… how the dominoes fall and what effect this virus has. We’re obviously only two months away from [many] players coming off this year’s current contracts.” 

For Williams, the Matildas stopper delivered another outstanding campaign for her club, helping secure Melbourne City’s fourth W-League championship. 

But the coronavirus pandemic has also brought a new uncertainty to her career, with her immediate club future now in limbo. 

“I don’t think you ever really plan to be in something like this… I think it’s caught everyone by surprise. It’s definitely heartbreaking to see how much devastation that’s caused,” Williams said. 

Former Socceroo Scott McDonald, said that despite football’s hiatus coming at the worst possible time for a resurgent Brisbane Roar, the pandemic has provided players with the opportunity to focus on what is really important and given them the chance to connect and share valuable information. 

“For everything to stop, on the whole it’s just been a bit of a shame for us as players because we did believe that something special was growing there,” McDonald said. 

“We’re all realistic in terms of where we’re at and why we had to stop… for the safety for all players and for everyone involved in the game and outside the game.”

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