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Downes: Pressure Affected Me Big Time
Tuesday, 20th Aug 2019 13:35

Midfielder Flynn Downes has revealed he struggled with the pressure of professional football as he broke into the first-team picture and sought the help of a psychologist.

“There is a lot of pressure in the game and when I was younger I just didn’t know how to handle it. It came out of nowhere, the pressure, and it affected me big time,” Downes said in an interview in tonight’s match programme in which he talks about that pressure, self-doubt and the perils of social media.

“I’m the sort of person who didn’t want anyone else to have my problems. I thought to myself ‘I’ll just smile and deal with it myself’ but I got to the point that I felt I needed to talk to someone and get stuff off my chest.

“I started seeing a psychologist called Alex a couple of times a week and she was great for me.

"The first time I spoke to her she said it will be a two-hour session. I can remember thinking ‘Two hours, I won’t be able to talk for two hours’.

“It went by in 10 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. I came out and felt so much better about myself. It was unbelievable. Now I'm in a much better place and feel and I can deal with anything.”

Downes, 20, has started all three of Town’s League One games so far this season and also came on as a sub in the Carabao Cup tie at Luton, his former loan club.

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ITFCMonk added 13:54 - Aug 20
Is this a club phsychologist?
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LegendofthePhoenix added 15:12 - Aug 20
Hat off to you Flynn, the more people talk about mental health the better. You won't always put in MOTM performances, and maybe you will have some games where you make costly mistakes, or where you need to rest. It doesn't matter, you're one of us, and we fans are right behind you. Follow the Town, Up or Down.
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BlueySwede added 15:40 - Aug 20
When you get a good chemistry with a psychologist (or someone else that is not too closely connected to your life), and you talk straight from your heart, let things off your chest, it´s a really good feeling. There is still so much taboo surrounding mental health. It´s a great shame. Why is mental health seen in such a different light to physical health, especially regarding men?
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hollywoodginge added 15:42 - Aug 20
Credit to Flynn for first taking that step to talk then, the hardest step of all, and now for sharing. These footballers are role models after all and it will inspire others to do likewise. I said the first time I see Flynn that he’s the most talented academy product I’d seen since Keiron Dyer, I’m still convinced of that to this day. What a player he can be! Also I want to take this time to throw serious praise at Skuse, he has been immense so far this season. And quite a pair they make. No better partnership in the division.
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warwickblue added 16:04 - Aug 20
Perhaps those forum members who persist in hurling cheap abuse at Chambers week in week out might also like to reflect upon the pressure that this must place on this quiet, family orientated professional. The psychological demands of performing in a very public arena are rarely appreciated by some of those who are only too happy to bray from the sidelines.
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rabbit added 16:50 - Aug 20
I totally agree with you warwickblue, there always seems to be a player picked on for abuse which is in the extreme; poor old Josh Emmanuel now seems to be a lot of people's go to insultee.
I watch the matches and always chat about who is having a good game who is not etc., just like everyone else, but the insults leveled at some of theses young men on social media is frankly abhorrent.
There is also a psychologist, supposedly, who posts on this site with quite vile, churlish insults about his fellow posters who have the temerity to have a different opinion to him, absolute disgrace.
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DifferentGravy added 19:30 - Aug 20
I know from experience the demands that Downes is going through at that age. I think its incredibly admirable that he is prepared to be open about it and am relieved that nowadays players have the opportunity to speak to someone to seek advice/help. Well done Flynne, youre having a great start to the season and look forward to your continued success.

Warwickblue - Just turn it in. This piece was nothing to do with Chambers.

As for the abuse you refer to, i am one of the town supporters who feels Chambers should not be in the squad, let alone the team. He has been abysmal for the last two seasons and town are averaging a concession of two goals+ when he plays. As centre back and captain he should be commanding and respected. Due to his continuous mistakes and poor performances, he does neither. This has nothing to do with his personality or off the field persona. It is based on hard fact. I feel it is counter productive to sling cheap insults from the stands and I support all the players once they walk onto the pitch. However, i realise that some fans pay hard earned money(pittance in comparison to the money Chambers makes....even after a pay cut) and voice their opinions and frustrations.... TO ALL PLAYERS . Modern players are aware what they are getting into. They have a significant amount of media training, support and Chambers has been involved in football for a good many years.
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