Ex-Portsmouth and Millwall favourite David Forde takes up Republic of Ireland role - but not as goalkeeping coach
Pompey League Two title winner David Forde has linked up with the Republic of Ireland's backroom staff – but not as a goalkeeping coach.
The former Millwall stopper has been enlisted as Eire’s mental health and wellness coach by manager Stephen Kenny during the current international break.
Kenny has been left sickened by online abuse the likes of James McClean and Shane Duffy have received of late.
As a result, he's called on the help of Forde, having worked together at Derry City.
After hanging up his gloves in 2019, Forde founded Pathfinder, which helps athletes struggling with different issues such as anxiety or low self-esteem.
That came after he completed a masters degree in executive coaching and development at the University of Portsmouth.
Kenny’s been concerned by social media slurs some of his players have been on the end of, while he’s also worried others may have been impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.
Forde will therefore provide support for any member of the Republic dressing room who requires it.
‘He’ll be in the camp in the background, morning, noon and night,’ said Kenny.
‘He’ll be there as a resource for everyone. He has a degree in sports psychology and lifestyle. He can help them.
‘I’m aware that players are having difficulty. Some players have gone on loan and it's just their personal circumstances that they live on their own in apartments.
‘It's not like before where you go into the (club) building, have breakfast, stay around and go training, use the gym, then lunch and you're there all day.
‘Now you don't go to the changing room - you go straight to the pitch, you train and you get a packed lunch.
‘Then you go back to your flat or apartment and you're there all day and all night on your own.
‘You're not supposed to interact with anyone not in your bubble. How long does the bubble exist, a year or two?
‘Does that mean you can't interact with anyone for a year or two? There are a lot of grey areas.’
He arrived on loan from Millwall in the summer of 2016 to remedy the Blues' problem between the posts that blighted their promotion push the previous season.
The former West Ham ace was ever-present as Paul Cook's side captured the League Two title on the final day of the 2016-17 campaign with a 6-1 defeat of Cheltenham.
Eire play their first World Cup 2022 qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade tonight before hosting Luxemburg in Dublin on Saturday.
They then have a friendly against World Cup hosts Qatar on Tuesday, March 30 in Hungary.
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