Toronto FC midfielder Liam Fraser on Playing without Fans and How He’s Staying Busy through COVID-19

Sports are off, games are postponed and athletes are likely at home like the rest of us. So, how are they adapting to the current times? We caught up with Toronto F.C’s Liam Fraser for some quick Q’s on how the team is staying busy, his thoughts on the Olympics and what life after sport might bring.

How are you staying game-ready during this period of social distancing?

Staying fit by following the workouts and diet regiments that TFC currently has set up for us while we are on this break. They’ve given us all the tools to be able to complete workouts at home, while practicing social distancing.

How are you spending your down time?

I’m spending my time by working out, watching TV shows, spending quality time with my family, and catching up on school work. This is a time to complete tasks that usually get pushed off or delayed for another time! Trying to fill the days with as much as possible to keep busy is the key to passing time the quickest!

What do you think of Team Canada and the Olympic’s recent decision of postponement?

From just getting the news that the Olympics has been postponed, I am definitely happy that there is still an opportunity to attend the games! With that said, I was proud to be Canadian when they announced that they were going to be the first country to pull its athletes out of the games. This country prioritized the safety and well-being of its athletes and staff.

TFC has also had to postpone games. How did you feel when you initially heard the news?

To the fans, thank you for sticking with us in these crazy and difficult times! Myself, and everyone from the club hope you and your families are safe and healthy and practicing the necessary guidelines that the government has set out!

This period of time-off has other athletes we’ve spoken to starting to think of life post-sport. Have you given any thought to this?

Im still so young with a very long career ahead of me so my sole focus is on my football career right now. However, I am currently a student in Ryerson [University’s] business program, so I will continue to pursue a business degree on the side of my playing career.

When sports ultimately do resume, there’s talks of playing without spectators. What role do fans have in the sport/game experience – can you have one without the other?

Fans create the atmosphere in the games. They bring that electric energy, and ultimately are the sole factors for those magical and memorable nights in your career. It would be such a shame to have games without fans, although with the scary times we are currently in, we need to prioritize the safety and health of all our supporters. If that means that there needs to be a period of time without then in order to bring them back at a later date to ensure all is okay, then I think there is something to look at there.

We’re all going through a bit of withdrawal and are reflecting on sports moments. What is one of your top sports memories?

My ultimate favourite sports moment would have to be my international debut with the Canadian national team against the USA. The supporters, and the result was something amazing and it was a day I will remember for the rest of my life.

We spoke to you recently and you said your dad was one of the reasons you started playing. How is he coping in a world without soccer? What is one of your favourite father-son memories growing up?

We are definitely in the same boat here! The way I miss training and playing everyday, he misses watching! There are many moments to pick from but just going to the local park near our house where we used to live to play together. [There’s] many memories and times there that stick with me and have made me into the player I am today.