Larne Football Club is delighted to appoint Ryan Prentice as our new full-time Academy Director.
Prentice, who has experience overseeing academy structures at Glenavon and Playing for the Future Academy, also spent time in academy roles at Linfield, Coerver Coaching and Manchester United’s Irish based development centre.
The appointment comes as the club puts plans in place to further enhance performance at youth level, with a strategy to align our academy with that of professional clubs in England and Scotland.
Speaking on the appointment, first team manager Tiernan Lynch said:
“Ryan’s appointment sees us come to the next stage of what we want to do at Larne Football Club. Over the past six years, we have had to do things a bit differently here at Inver Park as we built from the top [first team] down.
“During that period, we have built a brand and a club which is now able to sit at the top table of Northern Irish football, followed by the creation of a Scholarship Programme which currently offers 48 student athletes the opportunity to mirror our first team in terms of professionalism, conditioning and diet – alongside gaining a full-time education.
“Now, we find ourselves in the position to launch our ‘Player Development Phase’ with Ryan, which will see us once again mirror what we have done at first team and scholarship level. We want to be able to double and triple our contact time with players aged 13-16 years old, educating them technically, tactically and in terms of health and wellbeing.
“This is a really exciting development for not only our club, but for Larne as a town and a Borough area.”
Discussing his new role, Ryan Prentice added:
“For some time, the norm for youth football in Northern Ireland has been that players will train twice per week, sharing pitches with multiple teams and a match at the weekend.
“We want to do things a bit differently moving forward by increasing contact time and giving teams more space to carry out sessions. In addition to this element, we want to start implementing the strength and conditioning, analytical and nutritional aspects of the game for our players, which they would be receiving if they played for an academy in England or Scotland.
“The plans in place here at Larne are ground-breaking for academy football in Northern Ireland. I’m really excited to be a part of what the club is trying to do in breaking away from the traditional approach to give players the chance to develop into the best version of themselves, which will hopefully result in more heading across the water.”