Bastian Oczipka discusses the current situation

The Royal Blues have been working individually at home for several days now. Bastian Oczipka spoke to schalke04.de about life as a footballer and a father right now. The left back also made an appeal to all fans.

Bastian, you made your 250th Bundesliga appearance against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. It’s not yet clear when the 251st will come. How have the past few days been for you?
They’ve been very turbulent – just as it is for everyone right now. We all presumed that the derby would go ahead until the day before the game. We worked hard all week ahead of the game with our focus on that match – even if that wasn’t always easy to do.

When was the team told that the derby was called off?
Jochen Schneider informed us during our final training session. The mood in the dressing room afterwards was very strange. Jochen and the coach explained the situation to us in greater detail and gave us some tips for the coming days.

Since Tuesday the team hasn’t been training together and all the players are completing their own individual sessions instead. What does your daily schedule look like?
We had a lactate test on Monday, so the club could determine how all the players are doing. Our coaching team then gave every player a personalised plan. The programme includes some running, but also some other exercises. I’ve got a garden, so I can do some work outside in the fresh air. I’ve also got a small fitness room in the cellar with lots of different machines. I’m well prepared for this unforeseen period.

Do you wear any wearables that measure your performance for the S&C coaches to analyse?
All of the players were given heart rate monitors. We have to upload the data to an app after our sessions, so that the coaching team have immediate access to them.

Do your bit by staying at home, so that we can slow down the spreading of the virus and help ensure that those who are particularly at risk are not further endangered.

Bastian Oczipka

How are you remaining in contact with the team?
We have our own WhatsApp group which we use regularly. The coach and other guys also keep us updated. It’s an uncertain time for all of us. None of us have ever experienced a time like this before. We just have to take things day by day.

Have you had to change the way you live?
Just like everybody else, I’m making sure I keep a certain distance away from other people. I’m spending the majority of my time at home. I occasionally go out as we have two dogs, so I take them for a walk in the woods.

You’re not only a footballer, but also a father. Your son is two and a half years old. How did you explain to him that he cannot go to nursery and to playgrounds?

He’s too young right now to understand what’s going on. In his mind, he’s on a break from nursery and I’m also on holiday, which he really likes. We’re only speaking to his grandparents on the phone right now. We don’t want to take any risks and are following the guidelines.

Just like yourself, a lot of fans are at home right now. Can you recommend any TV series?
I’m enjoying ‘Money Heist’ and ‘Skylines’ on Netflix right now, as well as a documentary about Bill Gates. PAW patrol is also a good one for fathers to watch – my son and I watch it together sometimes, although I wouldn’t want to watch it alone (laughs).

Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Do you have anything to say to the fans?
In life, there are some things more important than football. Health and responsibility are vital.
Look after yourselves and take responsibility in society. Do your bit by staying at home, so that we can slow down the spreading of the virus and help ensure that those who are particularly at risk are not further endangered. Hopefully we’ll then be able to see each other again soon auf Schalke!

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