Two Larne clubs can now boast having the Wes Gregg Coach of the Year amongst their ranks.
Johnny Hastings won the top coaching award at the recent McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards as recognition for his dedication to both Larne Youth and Larne Tech OB.
Johnny joined Larne Youth three years ago and in the last two seasons, has helped to increase participation numbers from 250 to 350 and more than doubled the number of coaches at the club from 35 to 78. He also oversaw a move to bring girls’ football under the Larne Youth banner.
Larne Youth now have 21 teams who represent the club at a range of levels from youth development small-sided games to the National League.
Johnny chairs the club’s development sub committee, who oversee everything from coach education/vetting to the training drills used to ensure that both children and coaches develop as much as possible at a pace that suits each individual.
At Amateur League side Larne Tech OB, Johnny is Head Coach and has refreshed the squad with new young talent.
These commitments mean he is out at training four nights per week where he takes training Monday to Thursday, with Friday taken up with organising Saturday’s games for both of his clubs.
And Johnny does all this while continuing to support his wife and young family as well as carrying out his daytime job as a self-employed businessman.
“Johnny is always only a phone call or text away and is always willing to provide support and information for parents and coaches,” read his application for the award. “He also interacts brilliantly with the children of all ages really making them feel part of one big family.”