Glenavon Football Club can confirm the appointment of Stephen Thompson and Chris Chambers as U20s Head Coach and Coach respectfully.
Prior to his appointment, Stephen has worked his way through the Glenavon Academy as a Lead Academy Coach through their Development Phase and he was most recently the NIFL U18s Assistant Manager/Coach
Much like Stephen, Chris has also worked his way through the Academy. Previously, he has been an Academy Coach and Head of Foundation Phase, with his most recent position being Head of Youth Development.
In an interview with the club website, Gary Hamilton shared his thoughts on the recent appointments.
“With Chris Atkinson moving up to the First Team, his position as Head Coach became available in the U20s. It was offered to Ian [Boden], who had been working alongside Chris, but with him and his wife expecting a baby, he decided he’s going to take a while out to focus on that.
He added, “We decided to appoint Stevie Thompson, who has worked at many age groups within the academy as Head Coach, as our U20s manager, and Chris Chambers as U20s Coach.
“I’m delighted with both of them and its evidence that we practice what we preach in terms of progression into senior football.
“It’s a great transition for them. It’s great that we don’t look outside, but we look at what we have. It’s important, especially for young coaches, to know that down the line if they do well at their job, they’ll get to progress into higher and more senior positions.
“Now we have to look at replacing those two so it’s another opportunity that comes up for aspiring coaches. Hopefully someone can step in and do the same as these guys have done and give us good service.
“I’d like to thank Ian for all his hard work, dedication and expertise that he gave the U20s in his role at the club. We wish him all the best and hopefully in the not-too-distant future we’ll see him back in football and maybe even back with ourselves.
“Ian is somebody I have a lot of time for and I also respect his position with the nights out and work involved and hours required at the role. With a new baby coming, I understand why someone like Ian, who dedicates a lot of time to football for very little money, would also want to dedicate his time to family”
Outgoing U20s Coach Ian Boden also spoke with the Glenavon website.
“It’s sad to be leaving Glenavon as the club has been first class to me since I walked through the door. Due to a change in personal circumstances, it was the logical time to take a step back and it allows the club to put new staff in place at the start of the season so there will be minimal disruption to the 20s squad. I’ve no doubts Stevie and Chris will do a great job”, he said.
“I’d like to personally thank Gary, Chris, the backroom staff, the Board and all the players I’ve had the pleasure to work with for making my time at Glenavon so enjoyable. I’ve loved every minute of it and will really miss everyone.”
An interview with the new U20s coaching team will soon follow.
The Glenavon Academy will seek to replace both Stephen and Chris’ previously held roles in the near future.