Jason Pearce on lockdown with his family, getting back to training and being ready for the return of football

It was a busy lockdown period for Jason Pearce but now the Charlton captain is chomping at the bit to get back to playing.

The centre-half worked hard on his fitness during lockdown and was also able to enjoy the extra family time that the situation provided.

Pearce, a father to two young boys, said: “It’s been great really, you try and think of the positives with the current situation and that was obviously one, being with your family a lot. I’d get up most days early, before they were awake, get out and do my running and be back after breakfast to be with them the whole day. A lot of people know I’m a family guy, I enjoy my time with my kids and my wife, so it’s been enjoyable.”

The 32-year-old worked hard during lockdown but admitted he was pleased to be back at Sparrows Lane. He said: “I’ve got quite good self-motivation. I like working hard and seeing the gains you get, so I enjoy it. It was tough but I didn’t find it hard to motivate myself to get out there.

“I motivate myself when I’m on my own but once you get back in with the other players, you are in that competing mindset where you want try and do well and be one of the better runners. It’s always different when you get back in that group scenario and you are pushing yourself and pushing yourself to be as fit as you can.”

The team returned to non-contact training on Monday and Pearce, well known for his combative style of play, joked: “Doing a lot of the ball work without the physical side is difficult for me, I like the physical side like everyone knows. I’m looking forward to being able to get back to tackle and push everyone about. It’s important you get the touches on the ball and you get that back. It becomes second nature but when you haven’t kicked a ball for so long, you get a bit rusty when you come back, so the more we do, the better we’ll become. 

“Straight away everyone is pleased to see each other, we keep our distance, so we can’t be high-fiving, everyone is pleased to back. Everyone wants the football back on, the players, that’s what we love to do, we obviously want to play but you’ve got to be careful and abide the rules that have been set out but it was great to be back and see everyone back and I think everyone is looking forward to it.”

As preparations increase for the return to playing, Pearce is concentrating on making sure he is in the best place possible for the club’s remaining nine games. He said: “My focus personally is trying getting as fit as I possibly can and try and be up for selection for the manager like everyone else. We know we have to stick together, it’s going to be a tough run-in once the games start coming. It will be a bit different with potentially no crowds, so again you’ve got to motivate yourself to do well individually and as a team. It will be different but we’ll make sure we’re ready and Bow and the coaching staff and fitness guys will make sure we are physically ready as well.”

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