OUR CLUB, OUR COMMUNITY
Larne Youth was formed in 1996 with the objective of providing the young people of Larne and surrounding areas an outlet for soccer orientated activities. A milestone in its History was in 1998 when the club built its own club house at Sandy Bay in the town this still remains our base. This enables the club to provide opportunities for its members to hold parties, fund raising events, training and various other fun events.
The club has grown from humble beginnings and can now boast of having excess of 350 members, 62 coaches and 21 teams. These teams represent the club in various leagues throughout the province. Members of the club have received international recognition from County, Schoolboy and Senior level. From the club perspective Larne Youth have been successful in winning national championships and cups throughout its history and have represented Northern Ireland in the prestigious NIKE championship in Belgium and Italy.
The club supports the notion of partnership within the community and has successful formed alliances with organizations such as East Coast Running Club who it shares their facilities at Sandy Bay and PIPS who are a local charity that focuses on suicidal awareness and drug abuse amongst young people.
In 2015 Larne Youth teamed up with Larne Football Club to become the senior clubs official youth academy. This gives our members a clear pathway of progress from grassroots level to senior football. Another major achievement in 2015 was the club achieving the McDonald’s Club Accreditation Award. This accreditation demonstrates that the club has achieved excellence in terms of youth development and administration of the club.
Affiliation with Larne Football Club
Larne Youth currently compete all over the country in the East Antrim games programme, Belfast games programme, South Belfast Youth League and National League which takes some organising by the Management Committee, coaches and parents to ensure they are all prepared and turn out for training and each game.
What we all must remember is that success for our young players is not always about results but continued improvement and development and the support, help and encouragement of our coaches and players is key!
An exciting development is our official affiliation with Larne FC
Larne FC had, in the past, set up an academy but with Larne Youth already in existence & well established both clubs soon realised that it wasn’t in the best interests of all the young players in the area to continue with both organisations and therefore Larne FC ceased their academy to allow them to concentrate fully on the senior side of football. On the other hand Larne Youth never had a recognised player pathway to senior football for players who had reached the level to move on. This often meant that when players reached the senior end of Larne Youth that they would be lured to other teams with the promise of progression to their senior teams.
Both committees realised that something had to be done for the betterment of football in Larne and the surrounding area so after a few meetings between all the officials both sides agreed to form an official affiliation between the club's. As a result this now means that Larne FC can now call on players from the senior side of Larne Youth to play for both the Olympic team and even the first team, if the player is deemed to be ready and has the ability to compete at those particular levels.
In the past this would have meant a transfer would have to have taken place between the clubs causing hassle with 'red tape' but due to the foresight of the officials from both sides this is no longer the case and as a result it now means that a player from Larne Youth can get the experience of playing senior football, even for a short while, then return to the junior side when, and if, the coaches feel it is necessary to aid the players development. Definitely a win win for all sides, be it the player in their development and having a clear pathway to senior football, Larne Youth with the player bringing the knowledge and experience back from the senior side to his team or for Larne FC having such a large pool of talent to select from.
This was proven when during the season 2016/17 when our U17 player Rory Ruddock was named in the Larne FC first team squad to play V Linfield at the National Stadium and also Matthew Mulholland, from the U16s was selected for the first team to play vs the current league champions, Crusaders, at Inver Park. These were the first two players, and not the last, since the affiliation to be selected from within the Larne youth ranks.
We are now very proud to say that Larne can boast of having teams from u6 right the way through to senior football in the country.