Greater Sydney is well into its second week of lockdown but Liana Danaskos is looking at the positives and taking advantage of some time at home.
“Lockdown brings everyone’s busy lives to an almost complete stop but allows us to also spend time with our loved ones, share stories and conversations we usually wouldn’t have the time to do.
“The no football part is tough but so far so good. To some people the lockdown is negative but for me with my very ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle, it gives me time to sit on the couch and watch some shows and movies,” Danaskos said.
“I am a massive family person so for me it’s nice to be surrounded by my family, having a little bit more time where we are all at home together.”
Lockdown hasn’t stopped Danaskos from training hard and keeping her fitness at a high level, following training programs and luckily enough, being engaged to a former NPL NSW Men’s footballer, David Gullo, who is now a qualified personal trainer.
“I have been keeping very active which my coaches would be happy to hear. My brother Troy (currently playing for NPL NSW 2 side St George FA) has been joining me at the park for some sessions and I’m also lucky to have a home gym and fiancé that is a personal trainer. He’s has helped me focus on my strength sessions to hopefully improve my on field performance.”
The Bankstown City captain’s strategy to combat the COVID-19 lockdown is simple, ‘keep nice and busy’.
“I like to constantly think of the bigger picture and people who are experiencing tougher times than we are. I guess when you put things into perspective it’s a little easier to deal with the negative moments you may be experiencing,” Danaskos said.
Danaskos has overcome some of her own major problems, taking a year off football after suffering her second unfortunate lumbar spine fracture.
But, with strong support and an attitude of ‘what doesn’t break us, makes us stronger,’ she managed to get her body right and return to doing what she loves doing most.
“Having time away from the game allowed me to recover properly, whilst the decision was hard to swallow I knew it was the best thing for my body,” said the Bankstown midfielder.
“Being a PE teacher and the active person I am having to follow a very strict rehab program was difficult at times. Let’s just say the spin bike and I have a very strong love/hate relationship and looking back that time off allowed me to get stronger than I’ve ever been and I now understood the importance of strength training.
“Like any injury, you will always experience your ups and downs, the tears will happen but unfortunately, it’s part of sport. Once again, having the support of my partner, parents and family/friends and taking up new hobbies I saw that there’s more to dedicating all my time to football and that made those negative moments a little easier to cope with.”
Danaskos is back on the park in 2021 and enjoying her time at Bankstown City, with Chevapi sandwiches playing a major role in her decision to sign with the club.
She also captains the side and is an extremely important part of Matthew Costatini’s team.
Most importantly, Liana is enjoying her football at Jensen Park and can’t wait for the season to get started once again.
“I have absolutely loved the season so far and being part of the massive family/community club that Bankstown is. From the moment I walked in for my first meeting and being offered a chevapi roll and the continuous smiles of every person around the club, this truly shows the generosity and kindness of the club,” said Danaskos.
After a tough couple seasons, Bankstown City began a rebuild in 2021 with their new coach and refreshed squad.
“From a players perspective signing at the club I knew that the goals we had were long term and that 2021 was a building block for 2022 and beyond. The coaching staff have been working tirelessly to change the image that Bankstown City FC has had in previous years.
“The passion and the drive of the whole squad, including the coaches is something I am proud of in trying to make that shift. I believe all though we aren’t always getting the results we deserve, the style of football we are playing is creating that shift in people’s mentality about the club.
“To me that’s something special and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”
By – Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s Chief Writer