Words: ACFC Media
Wednesday 22 April 2020
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC and All Whites striker Myer Bevan is staying fit, focused and ready as the Covid-19 lockdown continues.
The New Zealand U-23 international won the ISPS Handa Premiership Golden Boot award after New Zealand Football cancelled the season with four matches left to play and it gave Bevan a sense of unfinished business.
"There were mixed emotions, for sure. It was bitter sweet. The season was cut short by four games. I still think I deserved to win it I think with four games left, I could've scored a few more, but I'm happy to win it, I can't complain," he said.
Bevan notched a total of 16 goals, including two in the OFC Champions League group stage, and while Covid-19 has temporarily deprived him and his team-mates of their number one passion, the Navy Blues frontman has made the most of the lockdown.
"We're doing the best we can. Auckland is like a ghost town. We go for walks and runs but its a different world and we're trying to adapt to that.
NEWS - Auckland City FC launch 5 Ways 2 Wellness— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) April 18, 2020
Auckland City FC is pleased to share it's health and well-being programme called 5 Ways 2 Wellness.
"Being surrounded by family is the best part about the lockdown. We're enjoying the family time for what it is, it's good," he said.
With the OFC Champions League postponement like to extend beyond May 6 and a host of global sporting events being postponed until 2021, Bevan and a few other Navy Blues players were on edge about the possibility of the Tokyo Olympic Games being affected.
The age-group restriction is set as an under-23 competition but with a year delay, the fear was players on the cusp of that age-limit may lapse into ineligibilty but Bevan is reassured by what he's heard via the International Olympic Committee.
"I didn't hear it directly from NZF but the IOC have said they'll lift the age group restrictions. The boys that are 97s (born in 1997) had an unknown to deal with after the postponement.
"But I've got a clear mind on that situation now that I'll still be involved in that. There's another year of preparation for it and I'm excited for it," he said.
With the lockdown keeping most people housebound, Bevan believes the hardest part isn't so much keeping physically fit, it's the long periods of time at home.
"Keeping fit physically is easy. I go out and run and we've got programmes from Auckland City FC that we've been keeping up and maintain. That part is quite easy because we all want to do it.
VIDEO - Myer Bevan Golden Boot#NavyBlues striker @myer_bevan won the #ISPSHandaPrem Golden Boot for 2019-20 - enjoy the best of his goals courtesy Sky Sport right here— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) April 21, 2020
"Mentally its hard because you're caged in and your going out is confined to the supermarket and its a bit crazy and a bit weird. But being surrounded by family is good and you do have to use imagination to entertain yourself.
"I've been on contact with Logan and Clayton and we're in touch everday. In terms of the team, we had a meeting on Zoom and we had a chat and everyone is keeping up and the programmes we've been given at least give keep us busy," he added.
Auckland City FC's squad have been in close contact with head coach Jose Figueira and his support staff with the OFC Champions League uppermost in mind. Bevan says the aim of competing in Oceania's top tier club tournament is driving him and his team-mates on.
"We're focused on the quarter-final, semi-final and, hopefully, a final so we can't really drop morale or it will affect everyone. We're staying upbeat and focusing on the possibility of those OFC Champions League games," he said.
Sat 16 Jan, 2021, Kiwitea Street, kick-off: 2pm NZDT