It has been a difficult period in the sporting realm following the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the sporting events were stopped or suspended early in 2019 in line with WHO guidelines. In the U.S, women’s football was deeply affected, and the season was not spared. UCF women’s soccer coach Tiffany R. Sahaydak had to rely on adaptability.
According to Sahaydak, these disruptions are part of football. She has been involved in the U.S.W.N.T since 1999 as a player, and just when she had been tasked with preparing her team for the spring American Athletic Conference season, Covid-19 happened.
She has learned a lot from her dad, who, according to her, trained her the art of adjusting when frustrations abound. Besides the disruptions, she has had to deal with several other setbacks. It has not been smooth for the Knights. In January, they missed out on a Swedish player whose visa appointment was delayed, putting her move in doubt. In December, Anna Henderson, who completed her transfer from Louisville, had to sit out the entire spring season.
Sahaydak is aware that it is a common issue facing several teams and industries across the country, including sports betting. There will be a good number of seniors who won’t be available throughout the spring season, either due to graduation schedules or selection in the NWSL draft.
“Honestly, I have no idea how it’s really going to look. Obviously I know how it’s impacted us. I don’t know if it’s really a level playing field.” Said Sahaydak. “You have conferences who played in matches over the fall. It’s just not the same. Everybody is going down a different road and we’ll see where we all end up.”
Football has since returned to stadiums, albeit without fans. Betting with Betway goes on as usual, with even more opportunities for the fans. Coach Sahaydak has a unified team now, despite the uncertainty, and the excitement of getting back to playing is evident.
The Knights took part in several friendly matches, but obviously, they couldn’t match competitive matches’ challenges. There were disruptions from the regular Covid-19 tests, which meant they were only allowed to train in small groups. Some of the players and staff were isolated, but they had to find new ways to adapt.
There will be an exhibition match on February 7 against Miami, and Sahaydak is appreciative that they can be back on the field to play.
“I think we’re more appreciative and more grateful right now just to be playing at all.” Sahaydak said.
Games are expected to return in February, and the winter break was so crucial for the Knights. Sahaydak allowed players to proceed for their breaks but gave strict training programs to the players. She says that she was impressed by what her players did over the holiday.
“It shows me that they’re ready to go, that they’re taking the spring seriously, that they want to be ready. They did their job over break, which made me really proud of their commitment level.” She said.
Starting February, you can bet on all the women’s football matches with Betway.