“It’s good to be in our happy place again, because the pitch is our home,” comments Leonardo Castro after being back at training with Kaizer Chiefs’ first team squad at Chiefs Village.
The players had to train at home during the lockdown due to the Covid-19 epidemic. But the Glamour Boys started training again on the soccer field a few weeks ago, to prepare for the restart of the Absa Premiership.
“The first week was a bit hard for us,” the Colombian striker looks back, “also, because we couldn’t train in groups. We needed to keep distance from one another. Now, however, we are training together and that feels much better. We are training hard to become fit, regain our on-the-ball confidence, and to get into the right mindset for the restart of the league.”
The attacker has scored seven times in league games and once in a cup tie this season.
The Colombian striker cannot wait for the games to resume. “It will be very important to win our first match, because that will keep us competitive. We need to have that winning mentality.”
Castro hopes that sooner than later “the virus will be over. I learnt some lessons during this time. For example, it is important to keep peace of mind and to be strong. The experience has also showed us that we all need to help each other. And this is something that shouldn’t be the case in times of crisis only – it should always happen.”
Covid-19 has also created havoc in the striker’s home country of Colombia. “We have more fatalities than South Africa. It is a major concern. I am therefore regularly in touch with my family back home to check up on them.”
When he is not training, Castro prefers to stay at home, not going anywhere. “I watch a lot of soccer, including the English Premiership, the Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A. Above all, I enjoy following Barcelona games.”
Then, with a smile on his face, the 31-year-old adds: “I am also teaching my three-year-old son, Valentin, about Lionel Messi. We sit on the couch and watch games together. He listens attentively. He enjoys watching soccer.”
The Colombian also has a message for the Kaizer Chiefs supporters. “We are working hard to be ready for the first game. We all know what you expect from us. We want to bring you happiness in these trying times.”
To end, Castro has some advice as well, “please be careful. Wear your mask, keep social distance, sanitize and please keep safe.”