Larne’s preparations for the Danske Bank Premiership campaign moved another step forward this week with the appointment of Lyn Kernohan as Player Welfare Officer.
Last season’s Bluefin Sport Championship title-winners have turned to the long-standing member of the club’s Board for the role designed to focus on “specific responsibility for the welfare of senior players at the club”.
With impressive early sales of season tickets reported an indication of the excitement levels building towards the top flight, Kernohan’s position is considered another positive.
“I am genuinely honoured to be invited to take on these roles within our ever-growing club,” said Kernohan, who will also serve as first point of contact for the Supporters’ Liaison Officers, Richard Todd and Callum McIlroy. “I look forward to working with Richard and Callum, both of whom I hold in very high regard, acting as liaison between the Board and supporters.
“We pride ourselves within the club on being open, honest and transparent so it is very important to have open lines of communication available for everyone.
“The Player Welfare Officer is a role I am very much looking forward to undertaking.
“All aspects of players’ welfare, be it emotional or practical, is paramount to help take our club forward in the exciting journey we have all undertaken together. “As a mum of three I’m aware of the challenges young people face today and, in particular, young footballers thrust into the spotlight.
“I hope to be able to help provide or identify the support they need in all aspects of their life.
“At the club we will strive to create a culture where there is no stigma around mental health issues and they feel supported both on and off the pitch.
“I genuinely believe if you have a content, emotionally and mentally fit player this will follow through to their game.
“I’m very much looking forward to working with them all.”
Larne chairman Gareth Clements considers the move “vital”.
“I am delighted Lyn has accepted these important roles and responsibilities within the club, and I wish her both enjoyment and success as she picks up the baton and runs with them,” he said on the club website. “As we look to continue to grow the club from the very solid foundations we have laid to date, we felt these were areas in which we were a little light.
“Following on from the appointments of Richard and Callum as SLOs towards the end of last season, Lyn will now work closely with them and act as the conduit between them and the Board to ensure their messages are relaid, considered and acted upon.
“The Player Welfare Officer role is definitely a first at Inver Park and possibly in Northern Irish football in general, again though it is one we feel is important and will add great value.
“With entering an exciting new chapter on our journey and with plans to add to our playing squad, we felt it was vital that we had a go-to person at the club, a link between the dressing room and the board to help new players and their families settle in the area.
“Lyn will be there to help our new players with their relocation, schooling requirements, settling in and integration into the local community.
“She will provide emotional and practical support within this settling period as required.
“We believe a good player liaison officer can be the difference between a player joining or not joining a club and also staying or not staying at a club.
“If a player is happy and their families are happy then that makes a big difference.”