Over the years LTFC has seen its fair share of dads and sons become part of our club. Today we have dads mums, sons and daughters as we continue to grow at the heart of the community. Over the next number of weeks we hope to feature some of those who, currently, both an active role in the Club. First up are:
Coach Jamie Serplus and his stepson Lisburn League 2001 Captain Ryan Blacoe
Lurgan Town: How long has Ryan been at LTFC and when did he take interest in football?
Jame Serplus: I’ve known Ryan since he was 2, but I think his first time even showing interest was the Euro Championships Final between Portugal and Greece. That was first time we sat up and watched a game together. He had just turned 3
Ryan Blacoe: I joined the academy when I was 7. I wanted to join the year before but because of an operation I had on my ankles I couldn’t walk properly never mind run. My first two years were difficult as I couldn’t run and almost skipped in games!
LT: What would be the best thing about being involved together in LTFC?
JS: To be honest, this might be a bit different to a few peoples answer, but just the pride that Ryan pushed himself to be even able to play football. I remember the early days of when he ran he fell over. Of pushing him round in a wheelchair after having his two ankles cut open to stretch the tendons. The Doctor saying “yes he will be active but running? Quite possibly not”. Ryan is one of the fittest and athletic members of his squad now. He has amazed me a bit.
RB: The best thing is being close to not just the football but the tactical side of everything. Micky and Jamie talk football constantly and now they involve us to help us understand it and it’s not just kicking a ball.
LT: There has to be a worst thing about it all?
JS: When he was younger it had its pitfalls, but as we coaches, parents and boys educated ourselves in football development, I don’t see any negatives of it.
RB: Not really. The coaches are as open and honest with me as with any of the lads in the team.
LT: What has been your proudest moment together at Lurgan Town?
JS: 2 years ago, amalgamating two teams in the age group together who over time had unfortunately became detached from one another. New friendships were formed and boys who had not spoken to each other in years became the best of buddies.
RB: Easy. Becoming the Captain of the squad. I was proud to win Clubman and Player of the year previous, but to become Captain was brilliant because it was selected by my team mates. I’ve wanted to for a few years but my temper probably didn’t help me, but I’m calmer now (‘yeah right!’ JS)
LT: What’s his worst habit?
JS: Swearing. Thankfully he at least just mutters it to himself now instead of at the Ref!
RB: He is obsessed with looking after the match balls! Correct pressure, cleaned and we dare not touch the two selected until we are told to!
LT: Have you any advice for anyone considering coaching their own kids/family?
JS: Don’t do it! I am only joking….. Get involved even if it isn’t with your own. Some people have issues with Coaches developing their own child, but in my opinion if you can be honest with yourself, your child and their team mates then I say do it.
RB: I think it’s a good idea. At our age group we have 4 coaches and they all have their son in the age group. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have anything. I wouldn’t of played football only for Jamie and his encouragement.
LT: What are your future plans in football together?
JS: Our time together is soon coming to an end as he turns into an adult, but I’ll still be there at his games. I hope whatever it is that he continues to play football for the reasons he started out playing – to prove to himself that he can.
RB: I hope Jamie comes along to my games when I’m older as he has been at every game I’ve ever played. I want to be Captain of LTFC or Glenavon and be as good as I ever could be.
NAME: Ryan Blacoe
POSITION: Left Back (Captain)
FAVOURITE PLAYERS: Paolo Maldini and Julian Dicks
DID YOU KNOW: To date (18/10/16) the Lisburn League 2001 have scored 21 competitive goals. Blacoe has scored 3 and been assist in 14 of them!