By Shraishth Jain,
AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: With the Hero I-League 2019/20 season currently suspended and the nation under lockdown as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, all the outstation players in the Gokulam Kerala FC side are currently camped in Kozhikode.
In a chat with www.i-league.org, veteran defender Dharmaraj Ravanan talked about his routine during these challenging times, being away from his family and the new hobbies he has picked up in the last month or so.
He said, “Most of the time, I am on my phone — talking to my family, especially my son. Every evening, I do some strengthening and core exercises to keep myself fit. I am also learning the basics of cooking from our cook here, and I’m really enjoying it.”
The 32-year-old, who hails from Trichy in Tamil Nadu, admitted that being away from family is difficult, especially his young son.
“It’s been a month in lockdown now and of course, it’s difficult. Through video call, I talk to my family, especially with my son. He is just 4 years old and I am missing him a lot,” he expressed.
However, with most of the Gokulam players staying in the same building, Ravanan feels that ‘being together’ helps them a lot and they delve into various topics among themselves.
He stated, “There a number of topics we talk about. Everyone is from different states, so we discuss what’s happening in their state and how people are suffering and managing in order to overcome this situation. All of us share our experiences in football and our future plans — what we plan to do after football.”
Ravanan, a former Hero I-League winner with Churchill Brothers in 2013, stressed on the importance of staying at home in this challenging situation and urged people to help one another.
“I request everyone to stay home and stay safe. Follow the instructions given by the government and help the people in your locality, who are in need. I sincerely hope we will come out of this soon,” he said.
Gokulam Kerala lie in fifth place on the Hero I-League table, with 22 points in their 15 matches. Looking back the season gone by, Ravanan sounded positive and expressed his happiness with his team’s performances.
“We had a great season with the help of our coach Fernando (Santiago Varela). We won the Durand Cup and reached the semifinals of the Sheikh Kamal Gold Cup in Bangladesh. In the Hero I-League, we performed well and played good football in every match. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the results that we wanted in some games. Overall, I am very much happy with my team’s performance,” he concluded.