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Skuse: It's Got to Be Safe, I've Personal Things to Consider
Wednesday, 20th May 2020 14:57

Blues midfielder Cole Skuse has insisted that safety concerns must be the priority as football looks to return after its hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis with the 34-year-old having greater reason for concern than most with his wife Louisa among those more at risk from Covid-19.

Premier League players have returned to training as they seek to follow the Bundesliga and get their season back up and running with Championship sides set to do the same next week. Decisions on the future of League One will be taken in the days to come with the EFL board meeting today.

“They say a decision will be made this week but they have been saying that for weeks now,” Skuse told the club site.

“A decision does need to be made but I echo what a lot of players are saying ‘It’s got to be safe to play, it has to be safe’.

“From my point of view, I have got personal things to consider. My wife is a type 1 diabetic and that puts her at greater risk [with a third of patients to have died of Covid-19 in hospitals in England diabetics].

“My little daughter has been in hospital recently with bronchitis as well so I’ve got issues like that to consider. Family is everything.

“It’s got to be concrete that it’s a safe environment to play again, that everything is in place for me to consider strongly going back.”

On Monday Skuse, 34, put pen to paper on a new one-year deal, which also includes an option for a further season.

“Of course I’m delighted to be staying at what is a fantastic football club for at least another year,” he added.

“It’s a mixed bag of emotions really. There is the relief of agreeing a new deal because with so much uncertainty around at the moment, it’s probably the worst time to be at the end of your contract.

“Every time you look on Sky they are talking about how many players will be out of work, especially in the lower leagues. I’ve got good friends who have not been given a contract and you feel for them.

“I’m fortunate in that I’ve got a fair few years behind me. I’ve had a good run at it but for players in their mid-20s, it will be worrying but then people up and down the country will be worrying about their jobs whatever career they are in. It’s difficult times for a lot of people.”

Skuse, who joined the Blues on a free transfer after leaving hometown club Bristol City in the summer of 2013, already has one eye on his future once it’s finally time to hang up his boots.

“I have spoken to [owner] Marcus [Evans] and [general manager of football operations] Lee [O’Neill] about how I can help in other areas,” he continued.

“My 100 per cent priority is playing football for as long as I can, whether that’s another year, two years or whatever.

“Alongside that though I’ve said I’d like to add my services in whatever way I can, whether that be coaching some of the younger players - which I do to a degree now - or whether it be attending off-field events for the club, helping to promote the club around the town and beyond. The more I do, the more I think I will find the pathway I want to pursue after my playing days are over.”

The Blues vice-captain says he’s very much settled in Suffolk: “When I joined from Bristol at 27, it was the first time as a family we had moved away from there.

“You never know how long you are going to be at a club so after two years here we bought a farm back in Bristol that we thought would be our ‘forever home’ when I finished playing.

“My family and Louisa’s family are all back there and it was always our intention to return but the longer we have stayed here, the more settled we have become.

“It’s a great place to bring up a family; the kids love it here. We’ve got some good friends here. Ipswich is great football club to be involved with and the supporters have always been fantastic to me. We are renovating our house and we’ve got a ‘forever home’ here now. It feels home.”

Photo: TWTD

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TractorRoyNo1 added 15:50 - May 20
Genuine chap, sadly too close to Chambers for my liking

therein61 added 16:05 - May 20
While i have never rated him as a player he has my full sympathy regards his wife and daughters health issues as he said family is everything and as any other parent he wants to be safe going back to work.

jas0999 added 17:55 - May 20
This is a tricky one. At some point sport needs to return. But it needs to be safe and I suspect some folks definition of safe will differ from others. That’s the challenge. Already seeing it in my workplace. Skuse though is right to be more concerned considering his circumstances.

JDAndCoke added 17:55 - May 20
If anyone needs evidence of why he's been given a new contract, this article pretty much spells it out. Clear eye on coaching and developed a genuine love for the club which not all players have. Think he'll still play at least half of the games next year though, certainly in the so called 'bigger games' where experience counts. He's a good man and someone definitely worth keeping here long term.

cat added 18:25 - May 20
Completely agree JD the evidence is all there. If you offer something off the pitch and your face fits then your shoe horned into the team and rewarded a new contract

OwainG1992 added 21:21 - May 20
Terrific guy to have at the club.
Not the player he was a few years ago when he was a very good championship defensive midfielder.
Glad to have him giving guidance to the younger lads.

Mummy_Short_Arms added 22:39 - May 20
Skuse has and does bring more to the team than many people give him credit for. I hope he’s able to sit out the rest of the season due to his family circumstance. Some things are more important than kicking a round object into a net.

BryanPlug added 09:29 - May 21
Sounds like ME made this decision, not PL.

braveblue added 13:57 - May 21
We are so short of money. Yet he gets a new contract. Crazy.

Ricard0 added 16:09 - May 21
So he says this AFTER signing a new contract.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 16:32 - May 21
Anyone with special issues, or with close family with special issues, should be given dispensation to opt out if they need to. CS still has a lot to offer the club, even if all of it is not on the pitch. A family club needs this type of person.

ITFCsince73 added 11:28 - May 22
Steve....the club has legends. Of which Sideways certainly isn’t. Total failure yes.

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