A month ago, David Buchanan’s Chesterfield side picked up a valuable point away at Dover Athletic in their battle to avoid the National League drop.
At the time there was speculation that this would be the last round of competitive fixtures for a while in the UK and as we sit here (in lockdown) in the middle of April, the future of the season remains in doubt.
This week, the National League board asked clubs in the National League, National League North and National League South to vote on whether to cancel all remaining fixtures – a move which the board recommended its clubs voted for.
Meanwhile, the EFL and Premier League are hopefully of completing their matches as soon as it is safe to do so with suggestions of playing games behind closed doors being muted.
But, according to the Rochdale-born footballer, the EFL’s proposed solution is not one he would favour.
“I don’t like the idea of playing games behind closed doors. Football is nothing without supporters.” He said.
“I think if the season can be concluded then it should be. As a player you want your destiny in your own hands.
“The health and safety of everyone is paramount, so if this is an issue then we can’t get going.”
Lockdown has created plenty of challenges for professional sportsmen and women with training ground sessions being postponed for the foreseeable.
Couple this with the unknown surrounding the end of the season and it leads to a difficult situation for Buchanan and his teammates.
He said: “It is very frustrating at the minute because we have no idea whether our season is going to get finished or cancelled.
“I’ve been doing a lot of different fitness sessions to keep me going, from circuits in the back garden, road running, pitch running and walking.
“However, nothing can replicate playing matches.”
Whilst in isolation back in Rochdale, Buchanan has been helping supporters and members of his local community.
“I have been in contact with supporters who live by themselves and have regular conversations with people who suffer with their mental health.” He explained.
“I’ve also volunteered to be an NHS Samaritan and generally post daily quotes and videos (on Twitter) to try and keep people motivated.
“I’ve had a great response from all the people I reach out to and they make me feel positive and better about life too.”
➡️ I’m currently off work for the foreseeable future so if anybody around Rochdale needs help with anything.. shopping for people in need, delivering medications groceries etc, give me a shout
or if you know anyone who might need a chat and a pick me up then get in touch ❤️
— David Buchanan (@_Buchs) March 18, 2020
It was announced last week that the former Bury, Tranmere Rovers, Preston North End and Northampton Town full back’s current team, Chesterfield, had agreed to furlough their squad’s wage without it being ‘topped up’ by the board.
In a statement by the Spireites’ Company Secretary, Ashley Carson, Buchanan and club captain Will Evans were praised for their roles in reaching this outcome.
Speaking on the decision, the 33-year-old said: “I’m proud of all my teammates for standing up and being counted in this difficult time.
“As a group we felt it was important to give something back to the supporters and the football club.
“We haven’t exactly been at our best this year, but we have always had a great following.
“Hopefully this will bring us closer together and help us going forward next season.”