Bolton Wanderers club chaplain Phil Mason and club doctor Jonathan Tobin recently attended the annual Sport Chaplaincy UK conference in which a number of topical issues were raised in an open forum at Kings Park, Northampton.
Nearly a year after the death of Gary Speed, the pair were joined by a selection of past and present players and managers with many sharing their experiences of mental pressure and depression.
In total 70 chaplains, each of whom provide pastoral support for players from their respective Football League clubs, were in attendance.
Mason said: “Following the sad loss of Gary Speed it would seem that many people, including players themselves, have been more open about the pressures they have in life.
“It is clear from the conference that there is a need to help people open up and share their concerns. Mental preparation in any sport is as significant as physical preparation.
“As was said, the brain is another muscle that needs just as much care and attention as any other in the body.
“Overall, it was a very insightful and helpful conference that helped me and all the chaplains to move forward in offering further support in the life of the clubs they represent.”