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Coleman feels players should use profile to raise funds for vital causes

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Ireland's Seamus Coleman. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

Ireland's Seamus Coleman. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Ireland's Seamus Coleman. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

Seamus Coleman feels Premier League players can be a force for good by using their profile to raise awareness of important charity campaigns during these unprecedented times.

The Ireland and Everton defender has given generously to back a variety of causes both here and in the UK and acknowledged that making gestures public can draw a mixed response.

However, Coleman believes that the pros outweigh the cons and sports stars can use their substantial fan base to draw support.

The Donegal man donated €20,000 to the 'Feed the Heroes' fundraiser which is supporting Irish front-line workers and he has thrown his weight behind Everton initiatives in his locality in England.

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Coleman has also picked up the phone to speak with members of the Everton fan base.

"I was more than happy to get on the phone to a few elderly fans or a few season ticket holders, just make sure they're doing OK," said Coleman. "For us, it's picking up the phone for five minutes but it can mean a lot so I think it's so important that the players do that.

"I'm never sure whether to put my name to a donation or not because you never know what kind of reaction you'll get - you'll always get some people saying you're doing it for the wrong reasons - but sometimes I think when you put your name towards something, it gathers momentum and publicity and then we can raise as much as we possibly can for people who are putting their lives on the line."

Driven

Coleman and his clubmate Leighton Baines also worked with Liverpool's Jordan Henderson in the player-driven campaign to donate a portion of wages to the NHS.

"I'm sure clubs were doing it individually but if you can do it together, it carries a bit more weight," he said.

Meanwhile, Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph says he was surprised by the quick handover from Mick McCarthy to Stephen Kenny but has conceded it made sense with no clarity around when the Euros play-offs will take place. UEFA have more meetings planned this week.

"We don't know when we are going back to the club football, never mind the international side of things," said Randolph, in an interview promoting his goalkeeping academy which is putting out training sessions on social media.

"Hopefully we get a bit of time to work on stuff under the new management team and go into the play-offs full of confidence."

Irish Independent