Charlie Mulgrew has found a unique way of maintaining his competitive edge in isolation … by playing a small-sided game each night against his kids!
The Rovers defender insists the back garden games have become a firm favourite in the Mulgrew household during the current restrictions, for both him and his three children.
And the addition of a famous football anthem, as well as a freezing forfeit, has added an extra dimension to the fun-filled fixtures!
“I’m in the house with my wife and three kids, and we’re all fit and well,” said the 34-year-old.
“Any time somebody coughs then we start panicking about it, but other than a bit of hay fever we’re all fine and we’re just getting on with it really.
“The first few weeks we were doing a lot of school work in the mornings with the kids, which was quite stressful, because it’s not easy, but it was taking up a few hours.
“Then once they went into the Easter holidays there was nothing to do really in those few hours, so we’ve been going on walks. The weather has helped massively, because we can sit out in the garden at the back, where we’ve got a paddling pool and a football goal, and we’re just trying to get on with it.
“Every night we play a 2v2, so my two sons, who are eight and 12, play against me and my daughter, who’s four, and we’ve got a manikin and the smaller goal.
“The loser has to go in the paddling pool and it’s freezing! The paddling pool is in the shade for most of the day, so it’s freezing.
“So we’ve been doing that and the kids have been looking forward to that. That’s got them through a lot of days, because they look forward to that at night and to be fair it’s got me through a few days as well, looking forward to that game.
“We had the Champions League theme tune playing the other night on Alexa!
“At the start, I was taking it a bit easy on them, but now I’m going absolutely flat out and they’re still beating me, so I’m getting a bit worried now!”
With the Championship season suspended until further notice due to the Coronavirus crisis, Mulgrew admits he has enjoyed spending some quality time with his family and being able to ‘live in the moment,’ away from the hectic football schedule which he is more accustomed to.
“It has been nice to be honest because it’s non-stop when you’re training and playing, and you’re always thinking about the next thing that you need to do, with all their after-school clubs or taking them to their football training two or three times a week,” added the Scotland international.
“So it has been nice just to chill and spend time with them. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when they’re bored, but they soon find something to do and it’s amazing how you can adjust, so I’ve enjoyed spending time with them to be honest and having that time just to live in the moment.”