"Valuable time to reflect"
Kunde Malong took advantage of his time at home in order to be creative and to reflect, but also to discover some new TV shows.
Easter weekend has come and gone, although most of us likely weren’t able to celebrate the holiday the way we usually do. The Easter weekend is also of importance to Kunde Malong, who also celebrated the holiday a bit differently this year.
“Normally I go to church on Easter and my family is there and we cook and celebrate together,” he said. “None of that was possible this year. So, myself and a friend who I currently live with, cooked together and listened to gospel music, and that’s how we spent the holiday. Of course, it’s too bad that it was just the two of us, and that we weren’t able to get together with our friends and family.”
But, the 24-year-old understands why that’s not possible, given the current situation. However, he still tried to take full advantage of the time he was spending at home. “I think now is a time in which you can try to find yourself, but also a time to be creative. I was a bit bored at the start, but then I realised that this could be a valuable time, as well as an opportunity to reflect. You can think about yourself and about what your goals are and what you want to accomplish. Of course, I also spent time reading and watching some TV.”
Kunde also has two recommendations for those looking for a new show to watch. “I watched How to Get Away with Murder and really enjoyed it,” he said. “Another one that's completely different, but really well-done, is Vikings. I also watched that and can only recommend it.” Despite not being able to see his family, Kunde remains in close contact with them. “I’m constantly on the phone with my family, we talk a lot,” said the midfielder.
Social media can also be of benefit when you’re stuck inside your own home for most of the day. “I did several challenges on Instagram,” Kunde said with a laugh. “I think it helps you to connect with people. Of course you’re sitting at home, but because you’re able to communicate with so many other people, you don’t have that feeling that you’re stuck there. Social media offers the possibility to connect with so many people. It’s also a good distraction when you’re trying to do some crazy thing and you’re trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone.”
However, Mainz’s No. 14 is also happy to be back on the training ground. “I think it’s better for all of us to have that feeling of being back on the pitch. After being at home for several weeks, we’re finally able to do what we enjoy the most,” he said. In doing so, all the players and the coaching staff are respecting social distancing rules during the training sessions. “That’s important and also the right thing to do,” Kunde said. “Despite having these rules in place, we’re back on the pitch, something that wasn’t possible in previous weeks. It’s a step forward for us and it proves to me that we’re one step closer to getting back to normal. It may not be all that long until we’re able to visit our families and friends again.”
After weeks of working from home, it was a slight adjustment to going back to training. “Of course it’s a bit different when you’re training on your own for weeks to all of a sudden being together with everyone again,” he said. “But I’d much rather be on the pitch with them. We now have the time to get back to our rhythm and get ourselves fit and ready, which is what we’re working on.” That’s also what Kunde himself is focusing on. “It’s important to get that feeling back now. I think that all of us can’t wait to get back to playing and to have that feeling of being back on the pitch. That’s what we’re working towards.”
Until that point in time arrives, and we’re able to see Kunde Malong back on the pitch, we’ll have to think back on some of his personal highlights from this season so far. For Kunde, a personal highlight are his goals against Hoffenheim. “Those are moments that speak to my development here at Mainz. Those two goals and the way I celebrated them was something very special for me,” he said. “Those are moments that I definitely enjoy watching again.”