Ross County midfielder Jordan Tillson has never appreciated his time on the training ground as much as he does during the Covid-19 pandemic.
County and their fellow Premiership clubs have been given the green light to continue playing, along with the Championship, on the provision they carry out regular testing procedures.
Despite the restrictions which limit interaction between players outwith their training bubble, Englishman Tillson is hugely grateful for the opportunity to carry on playing.
Tillson said: “It’s strange. Footballers are always used to being around each other.
“It’s a different situation to what has happened in the past, but we are just making the most of it at the moment.
“Hopefully we can get through this bad spell of the virus and get back to normal as soon as possible.
“I’m fortunate, I feel for the other lads who have no family with them. I have my family up here, I have a little girl and my partner is pregnant with another baby on the way.
“I haven’t seen some family for a long time, but that’s just part and parcel for anyone who works away from home in this situation.
“It’s not just us, and we are lucky enough to get to go to work as some people can’t.
“It’s great to have that routine and I feel privileged that I can do that every day.
“We are not getting to spend as much time with other as we otherwise can, but we’ve still got that great spirit.
“A lot of the lads have been here for a long time together, and they know each other inside out. They are so welcoming to anyone that comes up here and they really take them in.
“If there’s anything they can do to help they will. We’ve got that spirit.”
Tillson has now spent 12 months with the Staggies, having joined from English League Two club Exeter City last January.
Having made just eight appearances before last season was shut down due to Covid-19, Tillson admits it has been a strange year, but he is enjoying his time with the Highlanders.
The 27-year-old added: “We are not immune from the virus – but the club have put a lot of effort into trying to keep everyone safe, they’re really stringent with all the testing procedures and social distancing.
“Everyone is under the spotlight at the moment. The club have given us really good guidelines about what we can and can’t do, and how we go about things.
“Where we are in the Highlands is different to other areas of the country, there is not quite the spread of the virus there is elsewhere.
“It has been strange with what has gone on, but I have loved every minute of being here.
“I managed to get out a bit, but after six weeks we were in lockdown, so there was not a lot we could do.
“Where I live, there are a few nice places to go out walking, just to get out and about.
“It’s such a great place to live, and it’s such a family club where everyone is together.
“We are missing the fans, which is tough. When I first came up here it was great to have everyone in the stadium.
“At the moment it’s not happening, but hopefully we can get back to that as soon as possible.”
Tillson hopes County can return to winning ways following last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Livingston, with Aberdeen the visitors to Victoria Park tomorrow.
He added: “We have a good atmosphere among us. We are looking to bounce back with a win at home.
“It’s an important game for us as we need the points, but the optimism is there.
“We’ve got to try and string some results together. Looking at what some of the sides have done, if you win three or four games you can really push up the league. That’s our aim.”