Football: Wellington Phoenix's David Ball reveals stressful pre-coronavirus lockdown experience

  • 17/04/2020

Wellington Phoenix import David Ball has revealed a "stressful" COVID-19 lockdown experience, that had him fearing he and his family would need to relocate back to the United Kingdom. 

Speaking in an interview on the club's Facebook Page, the 30-year-old explained how a stressful final day of his side's aborted quarantine in Sydney last month had him fearing he would be locked out of New Zealand.

Ball and his young family have settled into lockdown in their Wellington home, now three weeks into the Government-imposed level four 'bubble' period.

Ball was only granted New Zealand immigration permission to return home the night before the team left their isolation base in New South Wales.

Border regulations introduced at the final hour to combat the spread of coronavirus allowed only citizens and permanent residents a passage back into New Zealand, threatening to shut out Ball and Wellington's other import players.

Ball tried to organise flights for his wife and two young sons from Wellington to the UK, in case they received the bad news.

"That was quite stressful and I was trying to sort out some flights from Sydney to meet them," he told Jason Pine on Nix Stars in Lockdown. "That was all a bit of a last-minute rush. 

"The UK is obviously in a lot worse [pandemic hit] place than New Zealand is and I felt safety was the priority for the family.

"My wife was a bit more upset than I was about the whole situation, but I was just hoping we could get back into the country and I could continue isolation back here with my family."

Luckily for Ball and his fellow football imports, Phoenix officials were able to convince immigration to authorise their return.

The Phoenix sit in third place, with six games to play in the current A-League season.

This story has been corrected from the original version published on Friday afternoon.