New U20’s & Youth Development Team announced

Above from Left to Right: Trevor Gillis (Loughgall Youth Coach), Ernie Smyth (Loughgall Youth Vice-Chairman), David Johnstone (U20 Manager/Head of Youth Development), Marcus Thompson (Loughgall FC Chairman), James Johnston (Loughgall FC Committee Member), Andrew Wright (Loughgall Youth FC Chairman)

The whole Loughgall FC family are delighted to welcome David Johnstone and Alfie Stewart to the club as they take up the Under 20’s management role and oversee Youth Development.

This significant appointment is aimed at bridging the gap between the Academy and the senior part of the club and to provide a clear pathway to young players to the 1st Team.

“Loughgall Youth committee met with David this evening (Thursday) and we are very excited on proposed plans to help develop players from U7′s in the Youth right through to Loughgall FC U20′s and ultimately the first team, We would like to thank all involved in the appointment of David and Alfie, especially Dean Smith (Loughgall FC manager) who put a lot of hard work in to make this appointment in such short space of time. David has already been active with new ideas, more details will follow about Launch Days for both Youth teams and Academy teams of the new Youth Development Program where current players/parents and new players/parents will be invited to attend.”
- Loughgall Youth Vice-Chairman Ernie Smyth

“We are delighted to welcome David back to Lakeview Park, from speaking with David he is very clear in his plans with the club, with the new 3G pitch also in the pipeline these are exciting times for the club to have all our teams training at the club. We want to keep the best local talent here and develop players who come through our Youth system and we firmly believe David is the man to oversee this transition. I would like to wish David and his team every success in the new U20 Manager role and Head of Youth Development.”
- Loughgall FC Chairman Marcus Thompson

David Johnstone is no stranger to the club having spent a total of 6 years in spells as a player, coach and caretaker manager. He first joined the club under Alfie Wylie in 1995, played under Ronnie Cromie in 2000 before and then after a long term injury under Jimmy Gardiner in 2003. He moved into coaching with Alan Robinson in 2004 before stepping up on 2 occasions as caretaker in the 2006/2007 season. David has significant coaching and managerial experience with Dunmurry Rec, Annagh Utd and Moneyslane.

Alfie Stewart needs no introduction following one of the most decorated Irish League careers ever with Glentoran and Portadown in which he won every possible piece of silverware going including multiple League titles and Irish Cups. He had a spell as Assistant Manager at Moyola Park then Reserve Manager at Ballymena Utd.

Speaking about his appointment, David said, “I am delighted at this opportunity to develop youth players at the club. There is great work being done by so many in the Youth set up but too often players are being enticed away in their teenage years before they progress into the senior club. We aim to try and address that by creating a professional environment and providing a path into senior football. I am over the moon that Alfie Stewart will be assisting me and I am confident we will make tangible improvements. I am also delighted that Darragh Peden will have a more active role with the Youth set up by doing a few coaching sessions.”

“I know the club inside out and that is important. I know Dean from my Annagh Utd days, I signed Andy Smith for Loughgall when he returned from Scotland and of course I have great relationship with Alan Robinson for over 20 years now.”