James Milner and Adam Lallana turn to golf management

Premier League stars James Milner and Adam Lallana will be following golf’s US Open and European Tour results just as closely as football’s European Championship over the next month.

The former Liverpool team-mates have plenty of fascination for the Euros, but both footballers share significant interest in professional golf through their directorships of a company shaping the future of one Britain’s brightest golfing talents.

The firm, Cheshire-based White Rose Sports Management Limited, has signed highly promising youngster Ben Schmidt following the completion of the 18-year-old’s stellar amateur career.

The Rotherham teenager was part of the recent GB and Ireland Walker Cup team after rising to number six in the amateur world rankings, having lifted the prestigious Brabazon and Carris Trophies.

Now the youngster is offering tips to help improve the games of famous soccer stars while they ready him for the rigours of life as a professional sportsman.

“We are very fortunate in the football environment,” Lallana told BBC Sport.

“Even when you have bad days on the pitch, you have team-mates who bail you out. Since joining White Rose and working with Ben and the other players you can see that everything is kind of put on them.”

Lallana hopes he and Milner can help ease that burden. “If we can take the pressure off them and work with them then hopefully we keep them focused on their job and just a little less responsibility for themselves.

“It’s a tough sport, it can be a lonely sport at times,” he added.

The 33-year-old Brighton midfielder is relatively new to golf and plays off an 18 handicap. “But I’d like to think I’m a couple of shots better than that,” he smiled.

“I’ve got a lot more time on my hands at Brighton than I probably did at Liverpool for a couple of reasons – less games and the times of day that we train.

“So I often have time to go to the range in the afternoon or play a couple of rounds in the week. It does help release the stress and it’s a very good second sport to have.

“Of course there are frustrations because we play football at an elite level and when you can’t do something to how you want to do it, it gets frustrating.”

As a single figure handicapper, Liverpool’s Milner is currently the more accomplished golfer. “You need something outside of football,” he said.

“Obviously the intensity and the pressure is pretty much non stop, so to be able to get away from it for a few hours and play some holes is good.

“It should be good to relieve the stress levels, it’s probably not, though, but that’s more down to my bad golf instead of anything else,” he conceded.

Although now at different Premier League clubs, both players keep tabs on each other’s progress.

“We follow our rounds on the app where we can see each others’ scores,” 35-year-old Milner revealed.

“We get notified when either of us is playing and I get notified a lot more that he’s playing than the other way round. He’s definitely got the bug!”

But the footballers are also busy on their phones tracking the progress of their clients. “We’ve got our players favourited,” Lallana said.

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