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AT a time when we are physically apart, it is the things which bond us together that will see us through. That’s the hope of Chris Burke, who says that the Kilmarnock family are all pulling in the same direction to see the club through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Killie Trust have already chipped in to help weather the financial impact of the football shutdown, bringing forward a scheduled donation of £40,000 to the club and adding a further £10,000 on top for good measure.

On an individual basis though, Burke says the biggest challenge to both players and fans during this time will be a mental one, and that is why everyone with the club at heart is looking out for one another.

“Our manager is in contact and his first protocol is always to ask if you and your family are well,” Burke said. “We’ll look after everything else.

“That’s the club Kilmarnock is. Family orientated. Everyone looks out for each other and long may that continue. Fans and players are coming together. You’ve already seen what the fans have done for the club in this testing time.

“It’s definitely challenging. It’s more a mental thing than a physical aspect. We can all do the physical stuff. We are fit and can do the work. It’s the mental aspect of giving your all.

“I’m enjoying it. Of course, you’d like to be with the group, but I’m not feeling that I don’t want to do it. We all have certain marks. If you can do a little more than the club give you, do it if you can.

“When you come back, even though you are not match-fit, you want to be fit. You don’t want to start training again and find yourself in the physio room on day two with an injury. That’s why we have the programmes.

“We get updated as what to do by the club as individuals and we always have a group chat. Every team does that. We can keep close contact with doctors and physios.”

Burke, like most other players, is itching to know when he will be able to pull the boots on once again. But he doesn’t see that question being answered any time soon.

“It’s difficult for them to come up with a timeline,” he said. “They have been changed week-by-week. Now it’s almost day-by-day in terms of what we can do as a society never mind football.

“The itinerary we have been given is to bide ourselves in slowly and gradually increase as, at the end of the day, you can only be fit and can’t get match fit.

“Whether we get information on when we know we’ll come back? Again, it’s been changed a few times, whether that be competitions or leagues and when do they start.

“It’s mentality. I’m sure the top players have it. It’s why they are where they are. Routine has been taken away and you have to find your own routine.

“We all need to stick together. Whether it is UEFA or the SPFL or whoever it is, they have to come together because this affects all. It’s not just certain leagues, certain competitions, certain countries, it’s all. Everybody.

“Obviously, we would all like an answer, but how can you get one? How can you know? Who makes that decision? Who is the main leader in the world to decide? There are different people and different ideas.

“Yes, we’d all like to know when the start dates are, when the end is, but we’re not going to get it at the moment.”





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