As we continue through these weeks without football, we are using the time to find out more about our staff and volunteers. ‘Why I Love Larne Football Club’ is seven questions allowing you, the supporters, to gain a better insight into what our staff members and volunteers do for the club on both a daily basis.
What’s your name and what is your role at Larne Football Club?
Hello my name is Gary Hanna and I am the groundsman at Larne football club
What do you do within your role on a daily basis at the club?
Some of my duties consist of brushing the pitch after every 10 hours of football, maintaining and fixing seats in both the home and away ends of the ground, put up signage and general maintenance. I also set up for birthday parties, corporate events and other functions hosted by the 1889 Sports & Social Club.
With matchdays being different, what would you do for a home game at Inver Park?
On match days I arrive at Inver Park really early to start setting up for the match. I put flags out for our home supporters and cones and signs up for the away supporters to make it easy for them to find their way into the stadium. I also make sure the toilets are ready and all the bins are in place. If the match is in the evening, I also look after the floodlights . After the match I have a team of great volunteers who help me clean and tidy the stands.
How did you get involved with Larne Football Club?
Two years ago I became a Season Ticket member and really enjoyed attending all the matches, The club then hosted a volunteers night to see if anyone was interested in volunteering for the club and I decided to take up the opportunity. After about a year of volunteering I was offered the job as groundsman at the club and I also still volunteer in other roles at the club.
Do you have another job outside of Larne FC? If so, what are they and what do they involve?
Yes I have worked at my family-owned nursery as a market gardener since I left school and still continue to work there as well as the club. I am also a volunteer in the RNLI in which I attend regular training for and I am on call 24/7 for any emergencies.
Do you find it easy to manage your other commitments along with your role at the club, how do you do it?
Yes I find the work very flexible, it’s a busy schedule but as long as the ground is set up for match days and other events then I find I can fit it around my other commitments.
And finally, why do you love the club and what motivates you to carry out your role at Larne Football Club?
I love that the club is family and community orientated, along with having great staff and amazing volunteers. I started going to matches when I was a teenager, then full time work commitments stopped me from going to as many as I would have liked. I got back into going to matches on a regular basis a couple of years ago and I still get that buzz for matchdays and the atmosphere, especially with a night time game at Inver Park under the floodlights.
Thank you to Gary for taking the time to give us an insight into his life at Larne Football Club. We hope you enjoyed reading about Gary’s journey with the club and make sure you don’t miss the next part of ‘Why I Love Larne Football Club’.