WITH the English football fraternity waiting to see when the game can resume, hundreds of players across the country have been trying to fill their time with fresh activities.

At Cherries, Charlie Daniels has attempted to learn Italian during the coronavirus pandemic, while Nathan Ake has been looking to fine-tune his skills on the piano.

Philip Billing and Callum Wilson have represented the club playing FIFA 20, full-back Jack Stacey has made strides in his business and economics degree.

Cherries skipper Simon Francis has also made fine use of his extended time away from the intensity of playing in the top flight.

The 35-year-old’s main priority at present is keeping Eddie Howe’s men safe in the Premier League – if and when it is safe to do so.

But the Nottingham-born star has delved into the world of media, sports marketing and also looked further into potential routes of scouting and coaching for when his playing career comes to an end.

“The time off, it was like when I was injured really,” said the defender, who first played for Cherries back in November 2011.

“You do get a lot of time to think about your next move, your next steps within or outside of the game. This has certainly given me even more time to do that.

“I have been doing a sports marketing course, which is kind of like an online one twice a week.

“I did sports marketing because one of my friends, who plays in the game, he wanted to go down that route and asked if I fancied it. It started a few weeks ago on a Tuesday afternoon and, as you can imagine, I wasn’t doing too much.

“It was just a webinar course online, has been really relaxed and has been more of a discussion, talking about sponsorship within football, the whole marketing side of things and it is interesting.

“It doesn’t mean I am going to go down that route but keeping your options open is always a good way of handling things away from football.”

He added: “I’ve been looking more down the scouting route, about courses that are coming up over the next couple of months.

“The scouting route and coaching, that’s fairly hard at the moment because you can’t do a lot of the practical side of things.

“The theory stuff that goes with it, I feel I am in a good position. Reading lots of things, watching games and players. That goes hand-in-hand and while we have the time, I can do all of that kind of thing as well.”

Francis, who also has his own youth academy in the area, has previously appeared as a pundit for Sky Sports, analysing various games involving Cherries when unable to feature.

He has also written a column for The Sun amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “I have done a couple of television gigs before, watching games and talking about them.

“Bournemouth ones the majority of the time, or with Sky Sports. That’s certainly something I enjoy.

“It’s just keeping busy I suppose and it’s something I enjoy doing. If it’s not playing football, I love talking about it and everything that goes with it.”

For now however, the former Southend and Charlton man’s main focus is trying to maintain his fitness.

He has the help of a newly-purchased road bike and his own home gym at the bottom of the garden.

“I had that (gym) built when we first moved into the house and it certainly came in use when I had my knee injury – doing a lot of rehab,” said the club captain.

“That has been getting used a lot now.

“I’ve been cycling a lot more. I’ve got myself a good road bike and get out on the road every couple of days when I can.

“That has been really good for my knee and my legs rather than just running every day – which I probably would have done five or six years ago.

“It’s harder to do that now after a knee injury – just pounding the concrete or the grass. Certainly the cycling and the gym work have been far more accessible and useful for me at this stage.”