Sheridan replaces Caroline Currid, who stepped away from the role earlier this week
By: Joe Saunders
Former scrum-half Cathal Sheridan has taken over the role of sports and performance psychologist with Munster Rugby, stepping into the shoes of the high-profile Caroline Currid following a rejig of the set-up under Graham Rowntree.
Currid started the role this time last year, catching the eyes of the rugby team following her impressive stint with the Limerick senior hurling team, among others.
As part of John Kiely’s team, the Sligo native is seen as a crucial cog to their prowess at the top of the game in the current era.
Currid had originally joined the set-up under former coach Johann van Graan, who departed the role at the end of the season.
Similarly to her successor, she entered the field of psychology due to personal experiences. Having previously worked in the banking industry, a cruciate ligament injury in 2005 opened Currid’s eyes to the world of sports psychology.
She had initially used it to enhance her recovery process, before going on to graduate with a masters in sports psychology – somewhat an untapped market in that era.
As aforementioned, former Munster player turned sports psychologist Cathal Sheridan is stepping up into the role for the current season.
The 33-year-old has experience in a similar role as mental skills coach with the Munster academy, emphasising ‘take it seriously, but have a laugh!’ to the players.
Sheridan is no stranger to Limerick spheres, having graduated from the University of Limerick (UL) with a masters in sports psychology.
During his time at UL, the former scrum-half has also been part of the backroom staff at UL Bohemians RFC, before becoming Director of Rugby with the club in 2020.
Working day-to-day as a sports psychologist, Cathal has a realistic approach, often using some of his own experience as an aid.
Injuries put paid to his playing career at the age of 28 following some promising signs when he was vying for the #9 position with Conor Murray.
As part of a ‘Tackle Your Feelings’ initiative, the former scrum-half spoke of the effect that it had on him unbeknownst to himself.
“At the time I didn’t even understand the effect it was having on me,” Sheridan said in the video. “Not only was I not enjoying being a rugby player, I wasn’t really enjoying anything I was doing.
“It was only after a close friend questioned my behaviour that I realised I had been isolating myself, falling into bad habits and even blaming rugby for my frustration. Now, I am a lot quicker to notice when something is wrong and I take action straight away.”
The announcement comes at a pivotal time for Munster, coming off the back of a second consecutive defeat after only two games.
Sheridan and the team will be hoping to turn the tide when they face Zebre Parma on Saturday at Musgrave Park in Cork.