A rollercoaster year for Stevens

Joel Stevens. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Joel Stevens. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Joel Stevens has had quite a year.

On the positive side, he completed a strong season as a key player for IFK Varnamo in Sweden.

The Dunedin player helped the side to the league title in the country’s third tier league, winning promotion in the process.

On the negative side he dealt with a dose of Covid-19 and is now recovering from a hip-groin injury.

The 25-year-old said it had been a good year on the whole, though.

He was now working in a factory, boxing metal parts for cars, to make some money before his working visa expires at the end of the year.

That had kept him busy since the season finished at the end of last month.

Varnamo finished with 20 wins from its 30 games and finished four points clear at the top of the table.

He had scored four goals, although had hit the posts another seven times.

He was also influential in creating chances, making breaks through the defence and setting up goals for others.

However, it was the team as a whole he praised.

"The team was awesome. We played really well," he said.

"There was one point in the season it just felt like we couldn’t lose, even if we didn’t play that well.

"Obviously we had a bit of a hiccup at the end, but we had injuries and we were tired."

Stevens was now recovering from an injury he picked up late in the season.

He had an offer from Varnamo for next season, although was unsure if he would take it.

That was more dependent on whether his Swedish partner could find work, as Covid-19 had caused a job shortage in the small town.

The country had not gone into a lockdown at any point, which Stevens said was nice.

That came with risk and the situation had become worse since the second wave of the virus had taken hold in Europe.

Yesterday, the country’s total deaths had reached 7802, more than 500 coming in the last week.

Stevens himself was suspected to have had the virus, although had been unable to get tested due to the number of people seeking health services.

"It was just like I had a huge headache at work one day," he said.

"I came home and one night I was just waking up every half an hour and just soaking, dripping.

"I had to get out of bed and jump back in. It happened the whole night.

"I was cold, but sweating. It was crazy.

"The next day I was tired and drained. It was only one day or two days. I lost my taste too."

He isolated in his apartment for a week and contacted a doctor, before returning to work after getting advice he would not be contagious after five symptom-free days.

 

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