TWO weeks of Playstation, Netflix and working out in a home gym was not quite how new Port Adelaide recruit Aliir Aliir pictured his first fortnight in his new home city.
The former Sydney Swan spent Christmas in Perth with family but returned to the harbour city to see the surgeon who operated on his jaw last year and then found himself forced into 14 days of quarantine when he eventually got to Adelaide.
On the eve of his first training session with his new club, Aliir told portadelaidefc.com.au he is feeling physically fit and is eager to get stuck in.
“I was out of Sydney before the whole outbreak happened but I still had to do the 14-day quarantine, and that’s understandable with everything going on. We’ve got to stick to the rules and make sure people stay healthy,” he explained.
“It’s been a bit challenging but I’ve got weights, a treadmill and an exercise bike so I’ve been able to keep fit.
“The hardest thing has been trying to stay out of my own head as much as I can so I’ve made sure I’ve had a routine with running and weights.
“The boys have been good texting me and calling me to check in.
“Obviously, it’s not the ideal start when you move to a new club and move to a new state. You want to hit the ground running in a new environment and I feel like I’ve been missing out when you see them all at training.”
Keeping mentally stimulated has been another challenge, but gaming, TV shows and calling friends and family has helped with that.
“I’ve been watching a bit of everything,” Aliir said.
“I’ve just finished the show Power and then Gangs of London, which I really liked but apart from that, just a few movies and whatever I feel like at the time.
“The Denzel Washington movie Inside Man, I had watched four times without ever finishing it so I’ve taken the chance to watch it all.
“I’ve got family across Australia – Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Newcastle, Perth – so it’s allowed me to call a few people I haven’t spoken to in a while.
“I’ve just tried to stay as busy as I can and whenever I was bored, I rang people to check in on them.”
Aliir was the 44th pick in the 2013 National Draft and was the first South Sudanese player to be selected at the draft.
The 26-year-old played 64 games for the Swans, including 14 in 2020, before finding his way to Alberton in the trade period.
And he can’t wait to join his new teammates on the track on Wednesday.
“I feel good. I’ve been working hard on the treadmill and bike and then weights as much as possible to follow the program without being silly and overdoing it,” he said.
“The fitness staff have spoken to me a fair bit to see how my body is feeling.
“I’m excited to get there, meet everyone properly and work hard and do whatever I can for the team.”