Arsenal Women full-back Katrine Veje says she has ‘found peace’ in her native Denmark during quarantine. Veje has endured an injury hit season, first injuring her right foot, before an injury to her left heel enervated her comeback during the autumn. Veje hasn’t been able to play since October and is fully fit again now, but admits that the lockdown has given her a chance to refresh and rid herself of the unhappiness she had begun to feel.
Veje returned to her native Denmark to recover in January and was due to return to London in March, before coronavirus took hold. Katrine told Danish outlet DR Sporten, “This period has given me the time and tranquility that I needed to fully recover, both mentally and physically. At the same time, I have been able to avoid being thrown into games too soon. I’ve been forced to take things easy and that’s been good for me.”
She says the injury remained a bit of a mystery, until it became clear that she just had to stop playing after representing Denmark in October, “I really had a lot of bad pain, but left for the national team. After a simple test it became clear to me that there was something in my heel that was not as it should be.” Veje says the injury affected her mentally.
“I hated meeting at the training ground. The others went to the field to play and I went to the gym. I felt like a total shadow of myself. I realised that I didn’t like to talk football with my teammates, I almost ended up saying nothing when we had lunch. My thoughts were somewhere else. Even though there were people around me, I felt alone.”
Happily, Katrine says some downtime in Copenhagen has lifted her mood and she feels fit to play again, “At Arsenal, I didn’t want to be with my teammates because everything was about football. But in Denmark I could see my friends who know me outside of football, and it gave me both space and peace. I’ll be ready [to return to training] immediately. Football is my identity and if I can’t play football then who am I?”