Rugby

Eddie O'Sullivan Took "Simple" But Effective Lesson From Alex Ferguson

Eddie O'Sullivan Took "Simple" But Effective Lesson From Alex Ferguson

The crossover of information that exists between different sports is not always immediately clear. What works effectively in one may not be entirely applicable to another.

Yet, it is rare that one will find a successful exponent of one sport that will not at least be open to the thought of investigating such procedures in another.

Recently, the head coach of Scotland's rugby team Gregor Townsend was discovered to have spent time working with Manchester City's Pep Guardiola in the hope of taking something back to his own set up.

Speaking on Off the Ball tonight, former Ireland rugby coach Eddie O'Sullivan revealed that he had once done something similar, leaning toward the red side of Manchester however:

I spent time with Alex Ferguson back in 2004. I spent a whole day with him over in Carrington; it was fantastic.

I thought I'd get a tour of the place and get to meet him for five minutes, but I actually spent the whole day with him.

The manager of Ireland's rugby team for seven years, O'Sullivan emerged at a point where professionalism was really beginning to demonstrate its worth in the Irish set up.

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What he took from his day with Ferguson was, in O'Sullivan's words, "simple" but extremely effective if you wanted to win a consistently successful side:

The strength and conditioning aspect of it and the injury management ... all the things I learned from it was the same thing with Ireland, player management and keeping guys fit.

He said the reason they won more leagues than anyone else was because they had the best squad in the league but they kept their best players on the field more than the other teams, because of their strength and conditional and their medical support.

So he said over a league campaign, if you can keep your best players on the field more than the opposition, you've a great chance of winning the league every year, and that struck a chord with me about the whole player management side of things back then and how we manage the Ireland players season after season after season.

Considering that so many of those players who ended up reaching the century mark of caps with Ireland spent a large portion of their international career under O'Sullivan, it would seem that the afternoon he spent in Manchester was not a waste of time.

See Also: BT's Jake Humphrey Shuts Down Jurgen Klopp Over VAR Criticism

Arthur James O'Dea

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