Michael Hogg, Curtis Smith, Amber Baldwin, Will Holden and Damien Lonergan from Gladstone United Football Club.
Michael Hogg, Curtis Smith, Amber Baldwin, Will Holden and Damien Lonergan from Gladstone United Football Club. Matt Taylor GLA060218FOOT

He's a United spark to be sure

SOCCER: From every negative, there's a positive.

This glass half full approach is what Gladstone United Football Club coaching co-ordinator Damien Lonergan wants to implement at the club, in particular to its crop of rising young talent.

United will field five Miniroos teams and four senior teams which will be made up of division one and two men's teams and two women's teams.

"I got into coaching after returning to soccer after failed trial attempts for Liverpool and Crystal Palace," Lonergan said.

"I fell to a bad side of social life after these setbacks and stopped playing."

Not being involved with soccer is something Lonergan did not want.

"Once I matured, I realised I still loved the game and wanted to be involved, mostly to help developing youth with dealing with similar setbacks as mine and using soccer and its community to give kids guidance and social skills to stay out of trouble and depression."

So Lonergan travelled as an electrician and played at semi-professional level in Australia and New Zealand before he returned to Australia to focus on family.

"I stayed heavily involved with the coaching process in each country and with work opportunities, I ended up at Yarwun Rio Tinto and started playing for Gladstone United as it was one of the oldest clubs in town."

"I immediately saw room for youth development and a town this size might need the influence in each club to bond our soccer community.

"Moving from here I would love to promote a coaching forum so the coaches in each club can share ideas and principles to move our community forward through soccer one day, with hope and effort.

"Michael Hogg is coaching this year at United and we are really looking forward to his input, he also has a strong focus on development of youth through the Football Federation of Australia curriculum process and has shown how successful this is with his ladies teams in previous seasons," he said.

UNITED COMMITTEE

President: Will Holden

Vice-president: Damien Lonergan

Secretary: Carmen Ward

Treasurer: Allan Little

Registrar: Madonna Dowson

Fundraising/Publicity Officer: Curtis Smith

Coaching co-ordinator: Damien Lonergan

Committee member: Bryce Manning



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