Coronavirus has changed everyone’s lives – and Paddy Boyle has felt the impact more than most.
The Peterhead full-back was in the final weeks of placement as he trains to become a teacher prior to schools being shut down.
The 33-year-old’s wife Louise is expecting the couple’s second child in June and with pregnant women more vulnerable to Covid-19, she hasn’t left home in weeks.
Boyle admits it’s a worrying time for them as a family.
He said: “We’ve already got a two-year-old and my wife is expecting another baby in June.
“She hasn’t left the house or the garden in weeks.
“Of course there is concern about her becoming ill.
“Obviously, pregnant women are at great risk and if she became ill it’s two people who are affected.
“There was concern about contracts and what’s happening financially. You don’t really want to be taking pay cuts when your wife is away to deliver a baby and be off work for nine months.
“The virus is a worry for us because of the greater risk, but we’ve managed.
“We’re following the guidelines, so we’re doing everything we can.”
Despite the abrupt end to his teaching placement, Boyle is set to pass his postgraduate degree and become a PE teacher.
Prior to his postgraduate course, Boyle completed a four-year sport development degree.
He’s been studying at the University of the West of Scotland’s Hamilton and Ayr campuses.
Although disappointed his placement came to a premature end, Boyle appreciates he is fortunate to be in a position to pass when others may not.
He said: “It was pretty abrupt from that point of view and it’s an awkward situation for me looking to pass the course.
“I was supposed to be doing another five weeks in a school. Obviously, that can’t happen and now we’re being assessed on what we’ve done.
“Thankfully for me I’ve passed the parts of the course I needed to before the shutdown.
“But it’s unfortunate for other people because there are some who might have one section they still need to pass and will need to go back and re-sit, which would be a bit of a nightmare.
“Thankfully for me it’s worked out all right and I’m looking at being a qualified teacher when everything hopefully gets back to normal.
“I can really sympathise with those who haven’t been able to complete the course.
“It’s indicative of everything that’s happening in the world. There’s a lot more than just teaching courses being affected.
“It’s strange because I’ve been working towards this for so long and then with five weeks left it’s been nipped in the bud.”
Boyle has enjoyed his studies, having started planning for a life after football a number of years ago.
The former Ayr, Airdrieonians, Partick Thistle and Dunfermline defender would recommend university to others.
Boyle said: “I had a year out in the middle of it, but I’ve been doing this since I was 26.
“It was at a time when there was less wages in full-time football and I decided I needed to plan for the future.
“I would recommend university to anyone. It opened up my horizons beyond football and I’ve made friends for life.
“It gives you fresh opportunities and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“The postgraduate course has been really intense and more difficult than the undergraduate course, but I’ve enjoyed the teaching aspect.
“When you see the young people you’re working with develop as people, it gives you a lot of satisfaction.”