Ex-Stoke City defender drags in model wife for unusual training routine


Players from the Premier League, Championship and beyond being forced to train on their own means that some are coming up with ingenious, bizarre or surreal methods to keep themselves entertained.

On the one hand, there’s the cute – with Jack Butland finishing an energetic session by picking up his 11-month-old son George in a mock weights session.

James McClean finished a dribbling drill by firing a shot past his son.

And then there’s former Stoke City defender Erik Pieters, who had his wife Nermina Mekic – of Real Housewives of Cheshire fame – on his back as he did some press ups.

He’s challenged Burnley teammates including Phil Bardsley to do the same in what he dubbed the Couple Challenge. We wait to see their efforts.

Erik Pieters posted a clip of his unusual training routine on Instagram.

Pieters was one of four Stoke players to get married in the summer of 2016, along with Giannelli Imbula, Joselu and Stephen Ireland, and is rarely seen apart from his wife as they document their life on Instagram. The left-back also had a cameo role on Cheshire Housewives.

But Pieters has a tattoo instead of a ring on his finger – after taking a kicking from Watford midfielder Nordin Amrabat, his old pal from PSV Eindhoven.

He explained: “In our match (for Stoke) against Watford he wanted to kick me up the bum – but he just kicked my finger. I hurt that thing crooked. It’s really something for Nordin, that crazy.”

Nermina accompanied Stoke once accompanied Stoke on a pre-season trip to the United States.

Jon Walters explained: “We pulled the assistant manager and said, ‘Hang on a minute, have a word,’ but nothing got said to him as long as he was happy.

“It was a bit of a strange one. Erik Pieters. She was around the pool when we’d finished training. Unbelievable!

“You wouldn’t do it but it got to the point where staff wouldn’t say anything to the players if would be an argument in the changing room that needed to be backed up a little bit.”

Pieters joined Burnley last summer after spending the second half of last season on loan at Amiens. He had been a regular in Stoke’s starting line-up from the summer of 2013 up until Nathan Jones’s arrival in early 2019.

The 31-year-old has made 17 appearances this term, scoring in his last two outings, which both came in the FA Cup.





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