BRINGING in a culture where there are no secrets is helping Oxford United’s goalkeepers form tight bonds, says coach Wayne Brown.

‘Tell-all Mondays’ allow the stoppers to air problems about anything in their lives.

Today is World Mental Health Day and to mark it the U's academy players had a session on the topic yesterday with Joe Thompson, who twice recovered from cancer during his career.

United’s goalkeepers in particular do not need to look far for inspiration.

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Former players Ryan Clarke and Scott Shearer have both opened up about their struggles and Brown believes the Monday sessions carry big benefits.

He said: “It’s a unique bond with all the goalkeepers.

“We’re quite big on mental health, especially in goalkeeping.

“You’ve seen Ryan Clarke and Shears, possibly I’ve gone through it a bit myself as well. I think everybody does.

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“It’s a little bit of fun as well, but if you’ve got something on your chest get it out.

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  • Oxford United goalkeepers Simon Eastwood (left) and Jack Stevens   Picture: Richard Parkes

“It can be about anything. They do come out with quite a few things and you think ‘fair play to you’.

“You get the younger goalkeepers who are spilling their hearts out.

“Maybe they’ve broken up with their girlfriend of two weeks or something, but it gets it off their chest.

“It makes them concentrate on training as well. I think it’s a nice way of doing it.”