Star midfielder Ryan Winder reviews his frustrating year in this week’s Northwich Victoria column…

I’D like to start off by wishing everyone connected with Northwich Victoria a Happy New Year and I hope you enjoyed the festive period as best you could despite the restrictions and no football.

I think 2020 was a difficult year for everyone and especially as a non-league player.

Personally for myself, the lockdowns have changed my work with being sent home in March and still working from home today.

This is something I’m sure a lot of people have had to face but very frustrating not having the normal environment and interacting with colleagues on a daily basis.

Football wise, with last season being cut short it was a strange one but one that didn’t affect us as a club too much with our league position at the time and out of the cups.

Personally, I missed the end of the previous season with an injury I picked up in January and couldn’t shake off, so for myself it came at a good time to try and rest up for the next season.

We started pre-season in again a strange manner – in groups of 6 and to start with in the gaffer’s back garden.

When we finally got together, it was good to see all the lads and the supporters turning out for training which just shows how much everyone had missed the football but also what great supporters they are.

Again personally, I was still struggling with the injury and something I needed to get sorted.

I finally got this sorted in October having a hernia operation and missing the first seven games of the 2020-21 season, which the lads started off very well picking up some good results.

Again, frustrating for all this was stopped again but it gave me the chance to overcome the operation and be back training with the lads come the end of November.

I was looking forward to getting going and it was great to be back involved pain-free.

The football being stopped again in December was a real disappointment and I think I speak for everyone, there is only so many runs and bike rides you can do to keep fit.

There is nothing like training or especially a 90-minute game to keep your fitness levels up to the standard required.

I think all we can do is keep as fit as we can over the next few weeks, remain positive and see what happens.

I hope everyone stays safe, keep smiling and hopefully we can give everyone something to shout about on the pitch in the near future.