TT catches up with United players Ben Wynter and Ben Whitfield about life in lockdown
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
TT – Hi guys, understandably there’s been much talk of mental health in recent weeks – how are you coping in lockdown?
Wynts – The first few weeks were hard because there was so much uncertainty with everything. I’m definitely missing football but I’ve just tried to keep myself in a routine every day really with keeping fit & healthy but also using the time to rest. I think it’s easy to complain about being bored and other things but we’ve got to be grateful for our health.
Whits – Lockdown has been a weird one really, some days you’re fine then some days it’s really boring. Training every day compared to sitting in and only going out for an hour a day is a massive change but I’ve coped fine, just itching to be back playing now.
How have you been staying in contact with the rest of the squad plus GJ and Downesy?
Wynts – We’ve had zoom calls as a squad and constantly being updated on the things that are happening by the gaffer & Downesy. We’ve also all been staying in touch with the group chat we have. I’ve had a few phone calls from the gaffer and Downesy as well just checking in, so that’s always nice.
Whits – I speak to a few of the lads quite a bit which is good, as a team and a group it’s been through the zoom app which the gaffer and Downsey have both been involved in which is good.
What do you make of the decision by the NL to cancel the rest of the season?
Wynts – Of course I wanted to complete it and as a squad we did too but I think we have to look at the bigger picture sometimes and the health and safety of players, staff, officials, and everyone involved was the main thing. I think the league made the right decision for them reasons.
Whits – It’s a tough one really as everyone wanted to finish the season and I really did too. I think we should have been aligned with the EFL and not done it before they decide what they are doing but that’s the decision they came to. I think the bigger picture is to keep everyone healthy and safe and that’s the most important thing, so if ended the season is going to do that, then they’ve made the right decision.
What have you been doing to the fill the void of no football?
Wynts – I’ve been watching football anywhere I can find it haha! Sky sports have shown a lot of games from the last few years which is good and I watch some of our games back also. It’s a good opportunity the analyse and learn which I’ve been doing a lot of whilst I can’t train as much physically, although my girlfriend is getting annoyed with me kicking the ball around the house.
Whits – Jesus what haven’t I done haha. Running, walking, cycling, Netflix, even the Disney app has been purchased. Just trying everything you can to keep busy and not feel bored. Regarding keeping fit, the first week was important to keep on top of things as we didn’t know if the season was going to finish but now we know it’s finished we’ve been told to have our down-time now and just be ready for the new season whenever that may be.
If you had to pick one team-mate to spend lockdown with, who would it be and why?
Wynts – I could pick a few boys to be fair but I’d say Diz because he’s my roomie on away days and we spend a lot of time together anyway. Or Kalvin because he always make me laugh.
Whits – Good question haha, it would be Robbie Cundy. I’ve lived with him this season and it’s been very good. He’s very quickly become like a best mate and will definitely stay in touch. Although not sure about spending lockdown with him he can only cook 1 thing haha!
Now it’s finished, how would you rate TUFC 19-20?
Wynts – I think like every team does we’ve had ups & downs throughout the season. But I definitely think we’ve learned a lot as a team which can only make us better. I was confident with the games we had left we could have got into play-offs and pushed on from there so it’s a shame we never got the chance to try and do that.
Whits – I think it’s been a very good season. We have had good spells and bad spells but I feel every member of the squad has gained valuable experience which can only stand in good stead going forward.
Give us your top three TUFC players of the season?
Wynts – Reidy. He’s a great player and has had a very good season! (Ben preferred not to pick 3!)
Whits – My top 3 would probably be, Reidy, Wynts and skip.
Sum up just how much you miss football?
Wynts – Yeah, a lot! Especially match days at Plainmoor!
Whits – Massively. It makes you appreciate it so much more when your stuck at home day in day out. It’s made me think about how good going to training everyday and playing every weekend really is. The sooner it comes back the better.
Give us some recommendations for TV, music and podcasts?
Wynts – Ermm TV series ; Game of Thrones, even if you’ve watched it watch it again haha! It’s the best. I’ve also been enjoying the programme ‘SAS: who dares wins’ that’s very good!
Whits – Oh there’s loads. Prison Break is still my all time favourite series I just don’t think you can beat it. The stranger is also very good as well. The Sinner, Stranger Things, YOU and Sunderland till I die are good watches also!!
And finally, what’s your message to the loyal Yellow Army?
Wynts – I just hope that everyone is keeping safe and healthy. Keep positive and spend time with loved ones. If there’s any front-line workers just a special thank you from myself! And now that the season is over thanks for all the support and can’t wait to be back playing.
Whits – Would just like to say a massive thank you for coming in your numbers week in week out to support the lads, it doesn’t go un-noticed. Personally I would like to thank you for the warm welcome since September, I’ve enjoyed this season a lot and hopefully we will be back at Plainmoor very soon! Stay safe and stick to the rules, hopefully see you all soon.
Wynt’s 1st goal for United V Slough (4:50)
Whit’s debut goal at Woking (11::55)