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David Forde Joins Ireland Staff To Help Players Deal With Online Abuse

David Forde Joins Ireland Staff To Help Players Deal With Online Abuse
By Gary Connaughton

While there are brilliant innovations that have brought modern football to the next level, the role social media plays in the sport has become a major issue.

Hardly a day goes by without hearing about some football being subjected to horrific abuse online, something our players are hardly immune to.

James McClean has long been a target for sectarian abuse, while a number of other Irish players have also recently vile shared messages that they have received online.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny said that he believes something needs to be done to curb instances of online abuse.

The social media aspect of it, some of that has been horrific, some of the abuse Shane Duffy got. Someone taunted the fact that his father recently died. Just incredible stuff.

James McClean has had a barrage of abuse for a number of years and Jonathan Afoloabi at Dundee and Tyreke Wright got it as well, a young player coming through.

The social media is a huge issue and  everyone knows that the social companies have to be held accountable in some way. It is tough for players to deal with a lot of stuff.

It is not just social media that is affecting footballers at the moment.

Life is difficult for everyone right now, and while professional footballers are in a very privileged position, their lives have also been affected by coronavirus restrictions.

They no longer socialise with teammates before or after training, while they're also not supposed to interact without anybody outside their bubble. That can be difficult for those who live alone.

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All of this means that Kenny is putting a priority on the mental wellbeing of his players, bringing in former goalkeeper David Forde to his staff to help in that regard:

David Forde is actually coming into camp with us for this week and the next couple of windows, joining the backroom team.

He has a degree, a Masters degree and he has lectured on the Pro Licence in that area as well. He is there as a resource for the players over the next two camps.

He’ll be there in the camp, in the background, morning, noon and night. He’ll just be there as a resource for everyone. Obviously he has a degree in sports psychology and all of those things. He can help them.

The Ireland boss knows Forde well, with the pair having worked together at Derry City a decade-and-a-half ago.

SEE ALSO: Callum Robinson Wants To Fulfil World Cup Dream With Ireland In 2022

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