FOOTBALL: Gregg: ‘I am bursting with pride’

editorial image

WESLEY Gregg has been added to Oran Kearney’s coaching staff.

The former Ballymena United, Institute and Portstewart coach has described his role at the Showgrounds as a ‘dream job’.

Speaking to Times Sport last week, Wesley paid tribute to the manager, the staff and players at Ballymena United and said that in his short time there, he has made many friends.

“I very much enjoyed my time at Ballymena United. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to work at Warden Street to continue to learn my trade.

“I have the utmost respect for Roy Walker, both as a football man, and as an individual. I would hold the Chairman, Robert Couples in the same esteem.

“Ballymena United is a wonderful club, with many great people.”

Wesley went on to thank Coleraine’s derby rivals and added: “I look forward to meeting them again next season in the spirit of friendly rivalry.”

Wesley will be the first to admit that he’s a Coleraine supporter through and through and he’s ready to take on his new challenge at the Club he’s supported since he was a youngster.

Looking back to his first ever trip to Ballycastle Road, Wesley recalled: “ I was brought up a corner kick from the Coleraine Showgrounds in The Crescent . It was the first Club I was ever taken to see by my father.

“My family have close ties to the club, and growing up, that was where I and my friends watched our football. I first stood on the terracing, like a lot of young Coleraine lads, supporting our heroes.

“The bottom line is that Coleraine is my first love, and if it were any other club but Coleraine, I would be have been minded to stay at Ballymena.

“However, having waited a lifetime for the opportunity to make a contribution at the Showgrounds, I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity in case it never came up again.”

And Wesley is just chomping at the bit to get started: “I can feel the weight of the community behind Coleraine as an exciting new era dawns under Oran. I am very keen to get down to work with the players, with Oran, Trevor, Greg and the other coaches, and to play my part in ensuring that Coleraine FC re-establishes itself, challenges for trophies and entertains the fans.

“I am absolutely bursting with pride at the opportunity I have waited a lifetime for, it is also a great challenge, that I am ready for.”

His new boss, Oran Kearney, is delighted to have brought Gregg to the club.

“When I came to the club, I brought Trevor McKendry and Gregg Shannon with me, but I always knew I wanted to bring in another coach,” he said.

“When I sat down with Trevor to discuss a few potential candidates, Wes was always top of the list.

“We took our time, went through all the proper channels with Roy Walker and Ballymena and the upshot of that is Wes will be able to join us for the final few games of the season, allowing him to get to know the players before next season.

“I know Wes very well and he is an excellent coach, very well respected in local football circles. He is also a born and bred Coleraine fan and is looking forward to starting work at the club.

“I’m looking to put everything in place for us to be successful next season and Wes is another piece in that jigsaw. He’ll be a valuable addition to the bench on matchdays and he will be taking on an important role in working with the academy.”

By Nichola Forgrave