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Jeremie Bela on lockdown and football's potential return

Jeremie Bela
Jeremie Bela

Jeremie Bela admits that these are strange days indeed as he gets to grips with the impact of Coronavirus.

The Blues attacker, like the rest of the squad, is training from home while he waits for the green light to link up once more with his teammates at Wast Hills ahead of the hoped for resumption of the season.

Bela's dog, Milo, is certainly proving to be a man's best friend as the chihuahua pinscher is keeping him company with the rest of his family back in his native France.

Bela is keen to resume league action but confesses not if there is the 'slightest risk' to people's health and wellbeing.

"It is very strange, very strange at the moment," Bela told bcfc.com.

"I work out twice a day, morning and evening. I work hard and try and keep myself as fit and as strong as I can.

"I spend most of the rest of the day with my dog. We go for a walk. I play with him and keep him busy. He senses the strange atmosphere as well. He is a bit confused about the situation, that we don't go out a lot.

"I call my family to make sure they are safe and other than that I will read, try to improve my English and I will look at investments I have.

"Sometimes I will go on my PlayStation but not often. I tend to do other things to stay occupied.

"In France the situation is very complicated. It is different. A lot different to England. You cannot leave your house unless you have authorisation.

"So I decided to stay here. It is just easier for me and for the Club."

Blues have nine EFL fixtures left to fulfill. Their last match was on 7 March.

All EFL clubs must suspend group training until 16 May at the earliest.

"Absolutely we all want to get back to normal," said Bela. "At the moment we cannot see what the future holds. The future is not clear.

"Everyone is waiting and hoping for this to end.

"This virus is horrible. A lot of people have died and it can affect anyone. It doesn't matter if you are young or old.

"I pray that this finishes as soon as possible.

"Until then we all have to stay at home and follow the rules."

"If everything is OK, then yes (finish the season)," he continued. "Not a problem.

"But even if there is still the slightest risk, and things are not clear, it is better to stop the season.

"The most important thing for everyone is to be safe. It is about people's health.

"More than football, more than money, more than fame - the most important thing for anyone is their health and their family's health."

For various reasons it has been an eventful debut campaign for Bela, who was due to move to Blues on a free transfer in the summer only for a contractual wrangle with Albacete putting the switch on ice.

Both player and Blues persevered. The determination of the Club and Pep Clotet to keep the door open meant that Bela did eventually sign in November.

He settled in quickly. His strong wing play, four goals and five assists - as well as engaging demeanour - have made him an integral part of the team as well as a fan favourite.

"I am very happy. I have really enjoyed it at Birmingham so far.

"It has been very eventful, yes. I had to wait four or five months to sign and play. That was frustrating but the Club wanted me and I wanted to come here.

"I think with every week I began to improve and got used to the football here.

"I have progressed as a player and as a man.

"When you receive a lot of love then you give all of you. Everybody here has helped me and supported me. I have felt a lot of love and I'd like to say thank you for that."

Bela suffered a hamstring injury at QPR at the end of February. He had to be taken off on a stretcher and there were fears the tear might keep him out of action for a lengthy spell.

But this break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has worked in his favour in so much that he is fit again.

And what if 2019/20 starts again, after such a long hiatus. Will it feel like the same season or a 'new' one.

Bela said: "It will be different and I think it will be like a new season, not this one.

"We will not have played for three or four months. That is a long break and to come back to the same season will feel odd."

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