Men's Team

Walker: We are all keeping each other's spirits up

Kyle Walker says the City squad are all helping to keep each other’s spirits up during the current hiatus from action thanks to regular online group chats.

With football currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and everyone urged to stay at home in isolation and follow government advice, it’s a challenging scenario for the players along with the rest of society.

And the City right back, for one, admits that being apart from his team-mates and staff has proved a tough challenge.

But he revealed that the aid of technology has helped ensure the squad have kept in regular contact and only served to strengthen City’s collective team spirit and camaraderie.


“We have jumped on HouseParty a few times and kind of got the banter going,” Walker revealed.

“You have got the group chat that is always going off on some sort of madness. I think it is about mainly keeping the brain active.

“Obviously, keeping yourselves active where, us as footballers, we have been provided with the gym equipment that Manchester City have given us and the bike and the programmes that we have carried out to make sure we are fine when we start the season, fingers crossed, again.

“It is just about keeping the brain active as well.

"It is important that you have a laugh with your mates. Obviously, we are in isolation, but we are still lucky enough to have the internet and everything like that so let’s use it to our advantage as much as we can.”

The England international also revealed that he had also been in touch with manager Pep Guardiola – and revealed his huge admiration for the boss following news that the Catalan had made a personal donation of a million euros to provide medical equipment in his native Barcelona.

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“Obviously Pep is not in the group chat! I dropped him a text message last night saying hope you are OK, and I hope the family is well and fair play for donating the amount of money that you have donated,” Walker added.

“That says a lot about him as a person. Put football aside, that has come from his heart and it is something that should definitely be recognised.”

Though he may be currently separated from his City colleague, Walker has at least been able to keep active – thanks to regular football sessions at home with his children.

And he says the sessions are helping him to maintain his competitive spirit and young at heart too.

“10/10 (I am missing football)! It is something I have done since I was six when I first joined Sheffield United. It is in my blood; it is something that I do,” Kyle continued.

“Luckily for me, I have got three boys that I can kick around with at home.

“I am kind of reliving my youth a little bit like when I was on the estate where you just had to fill your time.

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"It is astro which the middle one is finding out now as is he diving all over the place and getting burns everywhere. He is learning the hard way!.

“I have to say, ‘Stop doing that, you don’t need to dive on here.’ He wants to dive so you kind of let him off.

“A lot of balls are going into the neighbour’s garden I can assure you of that. It is good fun and it passes a few hours.

“I have built little ramps for them in the drive. It is like a little assault course where they are in and out of the cones on their bikes, so we are trying to fill the time as much as we can.”

The City full back also had a simple but heartfelt message to the fans in light of the current scenario.

“It is plain and simple. Follow the guidelines. It is important that we all do our part here,” the full-back stressed.

“Even if you are not affected or showing symptoms, don’t take it for granted. Stay indoors, keep washing your hands, keep following the protocols and just protect the NHS.

“It’s been tough, but first and foremost, we have to think about other people’s health and protecting the elderly and family members that can spread it.

“Football has to take a back step for now because that is the least important thing on everyone’s mind in the football world. The health of family members and other people’s family members is the most important.

“But, I hope, and I am sure everybody else hopes, that football will come back and we will be able to finish off the season, but if it is not a possibility, then everyone does understand that people’s health is more important than a game of sport.”