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.”
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