We are pleased to announce that Albert Watson will take up the full-time role as our new U16 Head Coach at the end of the season.
The appointment follows our recent announcement of Ryan Prentice as Head of our Professional Development Phase, and will see the club’s U16 players exposed to an environment that will mirror that of professional clubs in England, Scotland and throughout Europe.
Alongside Watson’s appointment, a much bigger emphasis will be placed around greater contact time on the pitch, additional strength and conditioning sessions and nutritional advice. Combined with the increased professionalism, Watson’s wealth of experience will also assist players as they prepare for a future in football through our Professional Development Phase.
Speaking on the appointment, first team manager Tiernan Lynch said:
“This latest appointment further shows our commitment to providing a professional environment for our players here at Larne. Albert’s role will be to develop our players at under-16 level, preparing them to make the step up to the club’s Scholarship Phase and eventually first team squad – alongside opportunities at professional clubs beyond the island of Ireland.
“To achieve this, we need to give the players access to the best coaches. This means people who have been there and done it in terms of experiencing the journey in football and know what it takes to succeed at the highest level.
“I’ve been very lucky to work with Albert as a player over the past number of years and the word which epitomizes his character is ‘professionalism’, which is something we are trying to achieve through our Professional Development Phase within the club’s academy.
“How Albert carries himself as a person, how he trains, how he eats and how he thinks about the game are all qualities which we want to feed into our young players. We want to see our young players having careers in the professional game, alongside taking part in our Scholarship Phase and first team.
Discussing his new role, Watson added:
“I’m very excited about the role and to give back to the club by bringing these new players through the Player Development Phase. The ambition is to have players capable of playing throughout our club at scholarship and senior level, and moving to clubs across the water. Within my role, I will be working hard to prepare our young players for these opportunities in advance of taking them.
“In recent weeks I have spent a bit of time looking more closely at our younger players within the club and can’t help but think how impressive the facilities and opportunities on offer at Larne are compared to what I had as a teenager. Between the gym facilities, strength and conditioning programmes, nutritional advice and increased contact time, players really do have the best opportunity to fulfil their dreams at our club.”