Published: 06:00, 22 July 2021
Faversham manager James Collins says he was in a “really bad way” after going down with Covid.
The Lilywhites boss returned to the dugout for their 1-0 friendly win against Canterbury on Tuesday night, Sam Bewick scoring direct from a corner.
He’d missed their first four pre-season games while struggling with the virus.
“I was in a really bad way with it,” said Collins. “I still don’t feel great now but my isolation finished a week ago.
“I felt like I had a cold at first, I was convinced it wasn’t Covid.
“It was only when I woke up the day after having the proper test that I knew I had it.
“I’m still exhausted now but I’m coming out the other side and there’s people who’ve had it far worse than me.
“It’s a horrible thing to deal with. I’ve been in more pain before but I’ve never felt like my whole body has been taken over. It felt like my body was shutting down.”
Faversham called off friendlies against Sutton Athletic and Chatham during Collins’ absence, while other clubs have also been hit by the virus in pre-season.
The new Isthmian South East season starts on August 14, when Town visit Phoenix Sports, and Collins accepts the show goes on.
He said: “I’m not qualified enough to talk about it but it seems everyone’s given up on it and people are just getting on with life. Surely we can’t stop things again now?
“People need football, people like their football and I’ve no problem with it carrying on.
“If schools are open and everything else is open, why not football?
“Pre-season has been a mess so far - so many games have been called off - but everyone’s got to deal with it, so we’re not making any excuses. It’s just the world we live in now.”
Faversham were unbeaten when the 2020/21 season was halted but Collins won’t dwell on what-might-have-beens.
It’s all about looking forward.
He said: “We’re in a better place squad-wise than we were last season, which you’d expect.
“Last season, it was we need players in this position and that position, where the depth wasn’t what it is now.
“It’s easier to attract players now than when I first came to the club, and that is in no small part down to how the club have restructured themselves in the last couple of years.
“We made a good start last season but I think we’ve got to let go of that a little bit.
“It would have been nice to see where it could have gone because we’d played difficult teams as well and not conceded goals. It would have been interesting.”
Faversham visit SC Thamesmead this Saturday.