HUSKISSON'S Adam Federici has experienced an enormous amount during his illustrious football career.
From leaving Jervis Bay as a 17-year-old to chase a contract in Europe to getting a start at Reading and eventually making the Socceroos, as well as numerous injuries along the way, the goalkeeper is well accustomed to dealing with the unexpected.
But none of those could have prepared him for the Earth's current state of play with the coronavirus.
"We started seeing reports about it [coronavirus] but realistically, no one really knew too much about it - which is the scariest part," said Federici, who is currently playing for Stoke City.
"Before we knew it, things were quickly changing and rumours started swirling that games were going to be cancelled - which ended up being the case.
"On Friday, March 13, as we were preparing to travel to Reading, we had a meeting and the coaches told us the weekend's game was off - it was a very weird and surreal feeling.
"We were supposed to reconvene on that Monday and now it's been five weeks and we are still not playing.
"It does make you realise football doesn't define who you are and it takes a back seat to the health of the world - it's not the most important thing going on right now.
"Life as a footballer is a 24 hours a day job and you can get sucked into thinking that's who you are and it's definitely not - when things like this happen around the world, which no one has experienced, it gives you a different outlook on life.
"In the mix of all the chaos that's happening, it's important you see the collateral beauty of it all and establish what you hold closest to your heart.
"We all have to play our part, stay at home and do everything we can to benefit the long-term health of the world."
Before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, seeing all English football postponed until at least April 30, Federici was enjoying a solid second season with Stoke City - in which he's made nine appearances for the Potters, who currently sit in 17th on the Championship table.
"Ever since I arrived, the club and the fans have been fantastic," Federici, who is playing under his third Stoke City manager in two seasons, said.
"They're obviously a big club, with a massive fan base, who've just come out of the Premier League and had dreams of being promoted but admittedly times have been a little tough in terms of results.
"At the start of the season, there was a bit of that Premier League hangover, which I've experienced before at Reading - there's no way a team as talented as ours should only be three points clear of relegation.
"But we seem to have righted the ship a little in our final few games, where we picked up some big points - showing promising signs we are headed in the right direction back to the Premier League, which is where we all want to be.
"From my perspective, I obviously left Bournemouth and joined the club as there was an opportunity between the sticks but unfortunately, it hasn't worked out for me as well as I had hoped.
"The most pleasing thing is when I do get the chance to play, I've done myself justice and been really pleased with my performances - anyone who knows me knows I just love playing.
"I've always considered myself a strong trainer and with years of experience under my belt now, I know how to make sure I'm ready to go whenever I'm called on my the manager."
Staying true to his word, Federici answered the call of Socceroos manager Graeme Arnold in November for the national team's match with Jordan - ending a close to three-year hiatus from the side.
"I first moved over to the UK to emulate my heroes and play for my country," he said.
"In our sport, there's no bigger honour than standing out there with your teammates singing the Australian national anthem.
"Anytime I get called up to the Socceroos is a big deal for me - especially as I know how much hard work goes into it.
"For example, the last camp I was a part of in 2017, I came into it on the back of a knee operation while at Bournemouth and unfortunately did the same knee during my time training with the squad in Japan.
"I then flew to Melbourne for scans, before having to get my knee operated on - which saw my proposed loan move to Nottingham Forest cancelled.
"To come back from what was a really rough time while in my 30s, show plenty of grit and determination and defy a lot of the critics out there was really satisfying and a big moment for me in my career."
While he'd love to add to his 16 Australian caps and hold his position in the squad ahead of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup, Federici tries not to look too far in the future.
"I try to concentrate on being the best I can each day rather than looking too far ahead," he said.
"Goal setting is great but when you look too far down the line, you forget about the day-to-day stuff - you can only control what you can control and positive rewards should come from that.
"Ideally I'd love to be at Qatar but there's a lot of time between then and now - and at the end of the day, I've got to be keeping well on a consistent basis."
Unfortunately for Federici and all footballers around the world, it's been close to one month since any of them have played a game, let allowed to train - as they've all be stuck at home.
"It's so hard for everyone involved, as no one really knows anything - we are all just playing the waiting game," he said.
"At first, many people didn't think much of it [coronavirus], because the information about it wasn't available - now in hindsight, staying at home is the best thing we can do, as per the government guidelines.
"Much like other industries in the UK and around the world, we don't know what the future holds.
"Personally, there was an adjustment going from our busy schedules to stepping back and doing everything at home.
"It's put a lot of things into perspective - for instance, I'm loving the extra time with my family, including my wife (Micaela) and my two kids Lucia (six) and Vinnie (three).
"I've spent a lot of time being active with them - playing games such as cricket, football and golf in the backyard.
"To their credit, despite not comprehending what's going on, they've handled it really well - my daughter has had to be taken out of school, while my son says we can't go anywhere because of the 'bad cough'.
"It's the first time they've actually gotten along but we are quickly running out of ideas what to do with them - I've enjoyed every second of it.
"Another positive of the crisis is the extra time, which we don't normally have, to reflect on what's important to you.
"I'm trying to make the most of this chance to step back and slow down during these strange, unprecedented times."
As well as family time, the methodical trainer is still spending long stints working on his craft.
"I'm lucky as we have some gym equipment, including a bike, at our house," said Federici - who admitted it was impractical for his family to get out of the UK before the lockdown due to the uncertainty of the situation and the unknown of when he would be needed back at training.
"We also live in the country, meaning I can quite easily go out for a jog whenever I want - which I've done on numerous occasions due to the surprising nice UK weather at the moment.
"Thankfully we aren't stuck in the big cities, such as London, where I can't imagine how hard it is to stay fit and on top of your game.
"As well as the fitness, our coaches have issued us all a home program and heart rate monitors, to ensure we are replicating our normal day-to-day workload as best we can.
"It's all to ensure we are ready, if and when the season gets called on.
"Apart from fitness, the only time we've left the house is to go down to the shops, which is a much different proposition than it usually is and I imagine it is back in Australia, because of the UK's stricter government guidelines.
"It's intense and quite unsettling - everyone is wearing masks and has to queue up, a couple of metres apart, outside the shops - it sort of reminds me of a movie.
"But credit to everyone that are cooperating and doing their bit to get on top of it and flatten the curve."
Even though reports from England say leagues are targeting a return date of June 6, in front of no fans, Federici admits everyone is still in the dark as to what the next move is.
"Honestly, we don't know anything and it doesn't look like anything is going to happen soon, particularly as the virus is a lot worse in Europe than in Australia," the 35-year-old, who knows the coronavirus will have an everlasting impact on the world in the future, said.
"As such, it's hard to put a finger on what the rest of the season might look like - there have been millions of different ideas floated about.
"Trying to predict the future is impossible and you can drive yourself crazy trying to do so - I've tried my best to stay away from it all and take each day as it comes.
"Knowing our lads, they will be all doing the hard work and will be ready to go whenever we get the call."
Making Federici's future a little more uncertain is the fact his contract with the Potters is due to expire at the end of June.
"I'll always be grateful to Stoke City for the opportunity they gave me to come and play, while I was going through a difficult period in my career," he said.
"All I can do is keep putting my best foot forward and let the off-field stuff take care of itself - there's plenty of other players in similar positions to me and I'm sure it'll all work itself out once we return to a bit of normality."
Federici, who's played close to 300 games in the UK, admits he hasn't ruled out returning home to play in the A-League in the future.
"The plan has always been to return to Australia at some point and with that, the option to play in the A-League - especially if game time does become limited over here in the UK," he said.
"The A-League is really appealing and competitive and I've got quite a few friends that play in it now and really enjoy it - it could be a great way for me to finish of my career.
"Hopefully it continues to grow and improve the quality of football being played in Australia."
On top of that, Federici hopes to return to Jervis Bay in the coming years and give his kids the chance to experience the childhood he loved.
"I've always said I want to get back to the South Coast and help promote football the best I can - be that through coaching or whichever way I can," Federici, whose family still resides in the Shoalhaven, said.
"I've been lucky enough to travel all around the world with football, but there's no place like home.
"I do miss it [Jervis Bay] and I'd love for my kids to experience the outdoors lifestyle available on the South Coast.
"It's very different to here in the UK and the surf lifestyle definitely suits me more - it's always hard watching my mates back home enjoying the summer and beach when it's snowy in England."
When talking about his hometown, Federici, who was part of the Australian Institute of Sport before heading off abroad, recalled how far he has come on his journey, including some of the top moments.
"I can still remember leaving Huskisson at a time when football had sort of stopped in Australia (between the NSL and A-League)," Federici, who jokes goalkeepers' bad moments are more commonly remembered than their good ones, said.
"I basically packed my bags and ventured over here [UK] and sent out hundreds of resumes and DVDs of me training to different clubs before going on just as many trials.
"There was plenty of clubs say 'no' to me as well as phone calls from home telling me 'give up on my dream and try something else'.
"But that wasn't who I was, I just wanted one opportunity and if then I wasn't good enough, so be it but I couldn't leave not knowing.
"At that time, I lived where I could and travelled a lot, just trying to get my foot in the door - I did this for years before I got an opportunity.
"I wasn't like many other players who might come through academy systems or get found at another club or simply come through the ranks in Australia - I fought tooth and nail to get my foot in the door and unpack my suitcase.
"When I finally broke through and played my first game in Europe, it was a massive moment for me - probably as big as my Socceroos jersey, just because of how long the journey was.
"I can still remember playing that FA Cup game for Reading and then a couple of weeks later, I was playing at Old Trafford against Manchester United - the enormity [of the latter] didn't hit me until well after the final whistle had sounded.
"For me, it's always been about the journey rather than the destination - which in my case has been really special.
"When I first came out [to England], I thought I was going conquer the world and it was obviously was a lot harder than expected but that's changed me into the better person I am today.
"It's been one hell of an experience and I'm extremely grateful for every opportunity that has come my way."
As such, Federici has a message for any young aspiring footballers that want to follow in his footsteps.
"For anyone looking for a career in football or any sport for that matter, if you do something that you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life," Federici, who can still remember kicking the ball against a brick wall in Huskisson as a young player, said.
"You've got to love what you're doing and be prepared to be in it for the long run.
"It is tough but it is worth it in the end - practice and training are everything.
"Every little thing you do helps and when you combine that with the passion and love for the game, you can achieve anything you set your mind to."