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Liverpool hire therapist to help players deal with vile online trolling


EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool hire a therapist to help players deal with online trolling after Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane suffered vile abuse and Jordan Henderson warned that player welfare is an afterthought

  • Liverpool have hired a mental health specialist to help players deal with trolling
  • Trent Alexander Arnold and Sadio Mane have been among the players abused
  • Psychiatric therapist Ishbel Straker will now play a vital welfare role at the club
  • The club says that players will be able to talk to Straker about abuse they receive 











Liverpool have hired a mental health consultant to protect their young players from the trauma of vile online trolling.

The club have recruited top psychiatric therapist Ishbel Straker to hold one-on-one clinics with upcoming stars, helping them to cope with racist abuse, sudden fame and addiction issues.

The move — the first of its kind in the Premier League — has been implemented to guard youngsters who are breaking into the first team from social media vitriol. 

Liverpool have invested in a specialist to help Reds players deal with abuse they receive online

Anfield favourite Sadio Mane has been among the stars to endure horrifying taunts from trolls

Anfield favourite Sadio Mane has been among the stars to endure horrifying taunts from trolls

It comes after leading players including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane were victims of horrific online trolling last year. Just last month, their captain Jordan Henderson announced his concern that ‘nobody really takes player welfare carefully’.

A source said: ‘Liverpool care hugely about the mental health of their players but over the last year some of the abuse experienced by the first team has been horrendous.

‘The club is very keen to make sure the young players who are coming through, or just breaking into the first team, are prepared for what can come their way online.

‘Trolling for some footballers has been as bad as it ever has been in the last 12 months and most young players are locked into social media.

England full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has also had to put up with being targeted by abuse

England full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has also had to put up with being targeted by abuse

‘The new mental health consultant is giving young players the chance to talk about the abuse they get and get bespoke advice on how they can cope with that.’ Liverpool is the first club in the Premier League to hire someone like this for their young stars.

Straker, who founded I Straker Consultants in 2000, is working with the club’s academy and Under 23 team.

On their website it states the Liverpool-based therapist ‘also has a specialist interest in performance enhancement, which supports those who may be struggling with work due to their mental health’.



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