Adam Porritt had chance to reassess his priorities while his Nairn County responsibilities had been put on hold.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in one way or another, changing the way lives are led around the world.
For Porritt, with one infant son in the house and another on the way, it led him to walk away from the game he loves for the foreseeable future.
Covid had allowed him to be at home for his first-born Arlo’s first steps and with Oakley, the newest arrival to the family three weeks ago, now in the world, being present for the big moments was something he could not pass up.
We can confirm that our captain, Adam Porritt is to leave the club over the close season.
Adam's family commitments mean that he will be unable to attend training on a regular basis next season and he has taken the decision to step away from football. pic.twitter.com/ylHiKHVyWu
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) April 18, 2021
“I love football and giving it up is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do, ever,” said Porritt. “The fact I want to spend more time with my kids and my wife – that’s more important to me, with the pandemic even moreso as you don’t know what’s round the corner.
“I’d only been thinking about it since Covid. When we found out about having a second child, I just knew the workload was going to be more intense.
“When I get home from work it’s about quarter-to-six. I’m only in the door for 10 minutes on a Tuesday and Thursday before I’m back out the door (to training with Nairn). The wife has got no respite at all. If I can help in any way I can, I’m happy to do that.”
At 27 his career as a part-time player would be far from over. He is by no means closing the door on football but right now other priorities come to the fore.
“Right now I don’t want to think about playing football,” he said. “I want to take a couple of years out and see what happens in the future.
Can’t wait till I can my wee man to his first football game 🍀⚽️
— Adam Porritt (@adamporritt27) March 21, 2021
“When the kids get a bit older and start getting involved in football, I want to be able to take them, rather than me having a game.
“I just want to be there and not miss anything. I was lucky enough with the pandemic, in a way, that I didn’t miss any of my first child’s upbringing. I was there everyday; I got to see his first steps.
“I don’t want to miss any big milestones. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
He is fulsome in his praise for Nairn, the club where he was captain, and the dealings he had with them while mulling over this decision.
Porritt had been the conduit between manager Ronnie Sharp and the dressing room during the pandemic, while the Highland League was on hold. Hints were dropped that he was considering stepping away from football.
“It’s more difficult the fact I love being at Nairn,” added Porritt. “The club were really good to me and saw the faith in me to give me the captaincy.
“I played with boys I’d class as mates, rather than team-mates, that was a big deal for me. But my family are more important than anything, so I guess it’s one I have to take on the chin and move on.
“We didn’t know if the league was going to go back and I said to him (Sharp) ‘I’m not a big fan of the league going back this year’. I thought it would be too much rushing, Saturday-Wednesday, and it would cost the clubs obscene amounts of money on testing for it to go ahead.
“I dropped hints that I was possibly not going to return and he totally understood my reasoning.
“My mum lives out at Lochcarron on the west coast and I’d not seen her for months. I’m used to seeing her two or three times a month. I want to spend time with her and she wants to see her grandkids – that’s the most important thing to me right now.”
The Highland League season was abruptly halted this season due to continuing restrictions around Scotland, with no confirmation yet when the next one might begin.
The former Ross County youth player is looking forward to being a spectator and a fan for the time being, promising he will be back to Station Park to watch Nairn in the future.
“I just want my kids to fall in love with football,” he added. “If that means going to watch as many games as I can in the local area, then so be it.
“I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on Nairn because a lot of my best mates play for them.”