Johnston believes the season is over

By Ronan Scott

ANTRIM defender Ricky Johnston has said there will be no football this year, but that it is no bad thing.

The Creggan man explained that getting a huge amount of time back, time usually spent playing football, should be taken as a positive.

I think the season is gone. I’ve been in that mind-frame for the last month or so.

I was frustrated at the start, but I have come out of the bubble of the training that I was doing and now I am enjoying my time.

I am enjoying it actually. It’s nice to have that time. In a way it’s great. I am not commuting to work. I don’t have to be anywhere.

I wouldn’t say it was a pact, but we spoke about where we were going.”

Johnston said that a lockdown would have been better last year, when their season was not going as well. But in 2020 Antrim were on course to get promotion to Division Three.

That was one of the biggest frustrations. We were going well in the league and we had just come off a big win at home against Limerick. We were sitting at the top of the table. We felt confident that we could get a run out in Croke Park (in a league final). We were building momentum towards the end of the league.

It was quite frustrating because if it can’t be completed then it is another year in Division Four. Maybe something can be done to play the leagues off at the end of the year.”

Johnston said that dealing with the news that the season was going to be put on hold was hard.

We were training Tuesday night and the next thing you know it was over.

I had been going well. I had an injury going into the Limerick game. I had hurt myself in the previous game. So I hadn’t trained too much but I came through the Limerick game. I was playing well.

Anyone I had marked this year I had done well. I was building towards getting a chance to play in a league final in Croke Park.”

Johnston said that three weeks ago the Antrim team had a group call and the message was that the season could start up in July. He doesn’t think that is the case anymore.

I think players want answers, but at the same time it is hard to give answers.

We are working away on our own. Look, I would be delighted if the season was to start up tomorrow. But I am enjoying the time to myself.

The first few weeks were tough not getting to see anyone. You kind of adjust. There was a struggle because you are cut off. Work keeps me in a good routine now.”

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