Saturday 25 November 2017

Former United psychologist helps to get Farrell over line

Connacht's Tom Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht's Tom Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Connacht's try-scoring hero against Munster, Tom Farrell, has revealed how a former Manchester United team psychologist played a big role in him scoring the match-winning try in the 20-16 win last weekend.

Bill Beswick, a sports psychologist who was brought in by Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford and who also worked with the English soccer team, spent time with the Connacht squad in Galway last week.

Assistant coach Nigel Carolan said that bringing him in was not a reactionary move - they had planned it from pre-season - but he made a big impact with the players and management.

Centre Farrell said that Beswick made a big impression and something he said flashed into his mind just before he broke for what turned out to be the clinching score in the final quarter.

"Two or three minutes before I was cramping up and I said if I make a break here I don't know if I'm going to make it, but I suppose Bill Beswick was in the back of my head and I recalled what he said about the things you can achieve when you put your mind to it.

"I went for it and I just about made it in the end," said Farrell, who joined Connacht last season after a spell with Bedford.

The former Lansdowne and Leinster academy player said that they took a lot of positives from the session with the renowned English psychologist.

"Coming into it I didn't really know a lot about Bill, and I am pretty sure the lads didn't know much about him, but by the end of the session the lads had taken confidence from it, huge belief and probably had a bit of different mindset coming into the game.

"To be honest, before this I would have had a massive psychological focus going into games and I would focus too much on the psychological side of the game.

"But after taking a few lessons from Bill, myself and the squad can take a few steps going forward," added the 24-year-old.

He's now hoping to play his part as Connacht bid to make it four wins in a row in all competitions when they take on the Cheetahs at the Sportsground on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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