Connor Farrell and the making of Milkman
By Lauren Merola | Jun 23, 2022
Growing up, Connor Farrell would walk into the kitchen of his home in Holtsville, N.Y. nearly ten times a day for a refill. When he pulled open the refrigerator door and the light softly illuminated Farrell's face, his mom Kathleen’s money was well-bet that Farrell was making his way through the ten gallons of milk she’d purchased that week.
“I would go to the store and people would think I was bathing in milk,” Kathleen said. “They’re like, ‘What do you do with that milk?’ I had boys that drank a lot of milk, whether it was cereal or cookies and milk. They never drank soda.”
Farrell said he and his younger brother Kyle each drank about seven gallons of milk a week. After Kathleen made countless mid-week trips back to the grocery store to restock the milk she’d purchased only a few days before, Farrell pitched a solution.
“We have an acre of land, so Connor would always say, ‘Why don’t we just get a cow?’” Kathleen said. “He said, ‘It’d be cheaper and you wouldn’t have to lug all that milk home.’”
The Farrell family never bought a cow, but they did help revive a retired profession. Farrell brought back the milkman.
At the 2019 training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., the then-rookie Chrome faceoff specialist was interviewed for the ‘ALL IN PLL: Training Camp Documentary.’ Farrell revealed his love of milk, prompting people to call him “Milkman” on social media.
“Growing up I’ve always been the biggest kid in class and the biggest kid on the team. People always say it’s because me and my brother, we always drink so much milk,” Farrell said in the documentary. “I basically have a gallon of milk a day.”
Three years later, the name stuck.
“When he does something well on the field, I’ll hear ‘Attaboy Milkman!’ on the sideline,” Chrome coach Tim Soudan said.
Through Week 3 of the 2022 season, Farrell won 62% of faceoffs, so far tying his 2020 season-best win percentage. It’s a turnaround from the 2021 season, where Farrell struggled to surpass a 50% win record (104-217) from the stripe.
That’s why before the season started, Soudan and Farrell had some tough conversations.
“I was like, ‘Hey bud, you have to be better this year,’” Soudan said. “We were looking to try and draft somebody but anybody we drafted this year wouldn’t even be able to hang with Connor, so we have to be better with exiting and supporting him. We put in a ton of drills that we do on a daily basis when we practice to help support Connor and it’s helped him a ton in the first two games.”
Soudan said the best way to get the most out of his players is to have a personal relationship with them like he does with Farrell, who visited Soudan’s house in upstate New York in November for a weekend hunting trip.
“He’s a player’s coach,” Farrell said. “He lets the players lead. He’s there for us. He backs us up.”
This is why whenever Soudan needs something – a won draw, quick clamp or release – Farrell’s response is always the same.
“He responds with, ‘I’m all in coach,’” Soudan said. “He’s such a great guy. He loves the team. He works really, really hard. During practice, he’s not a faceoff guy that just sits around. He’s actually drilling for an hour and a half by himself.”
So far, Farrell’s delivered, winning 44-of-71 matchups from the stripe this season.
“He understands what kind of role he plays in our family-style thought process,” Soudan said. “He’s a big cog in the wheel of success and I think he’s taken it really seriously.”
Farrell is a big part of Chrome, both figuratively and literally.
At 6’2”, 240-pounds, Farrell – a four-year, dual-sport middle linebacker and faceoff specialist at LIU Post who, growing up, hoped to hear his name drafted to the New York Giants – delivers the occasional flattening hit.
“If you have the ball and you’re near me, I’m trying, as much as I can, to put you into the ground,” Farrell said in the league’s “Way Off the Field” series.
Farrell relies on his size and training to out-quick and -power opponents, but Milkman also has a soft side.
“He's like a big puppy dog,” Soudan said. “He’s a loyal, hardworking kid that is respectful and he’s driven. He’s super likable. He’s very humble and loves being involved and being a part of the team. If he wasn’t all those things, there was no way he was coming to my hunting camp.”
Kathleen said when Farrell was younger, he’d spend time in between games at summer lacrosse tournaments playing with his coach's kids instead of resting.
“He loves kids,” Kathleen said. “To this day, he’ll crawl on my lap and hug me. He’s got that warm heart. He’s a big teddy bear.”
Between the lines, Farrell gives the game his 100%, but off the field, he still reaches for the 2%.
“I drink closer to five gallons [a week] now,” he said.