Sunday 23 October 2016

Paul O'Connell set for role with the European Ryder Cup team

Published 17/05/2016 | 08:05

Paul O'Connell will address the European team at Hazeltine today
Paul O'Connell will address the European team at Hazeltine today

Munster and Ireland legend Paul O'Connell looks set for a motivational role with the European Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine later this year.

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Just as Paul McGinley used Alex Ferguson to inspire his charges to success at the Belfry and his compatriot Darren Clarke has drawn up his own shortlist of speakers including the giant Limerick man.

Clarke, a Liverpool fan, is also hoping to enlist the services of current Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp and Reds legend Kenny Dalglish.

“Jürgen Klopp is definitely one of the guys I want to speak to, especially as a Liverpool fan myself,” Clarke told the Guardian. “He’s an absolute livewire isn’t he? He’s a bundle of energy and that sort of thing can be infectious. He’s obviously very passionate and a terrific motivator so I want to pick his brains a bit.

“Kenny Dalglish is someone else I’ll seek out. Alex Ferguson was such an inspirational figure at Gleneagles that I’d love to have him on board again. I’ll look into whether he’s free that week, and check out the possibility of flying him over with us.

“But I’ll be talking to a bunch of people over a whole range of sports. Clive Woodward is another guy who would be very interesting on the team dynamic and the former Ireland and Lions captain Paul O’Connell is another one.”

Darren Clarke with a lot of the players hoping to make his 12-man team at the Players Championship in Sawgrass last week and explained to them how he wanted his side to adopt messages from rugby anthem 'Ireland's Call'.

“I want to use Shoulder to Shoulder as a sort of team mantra for this Ryder Cup,” Clarke said. “I don’t want our players huddling together before we tee off but I do want to stress the fact we are all in this together, we’re a united force, and we’re much stronger together.”

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