Our Coaches

All of our coaches are volunteers who give their time and expertise to support our players in getting the most out of football.

WildCats – Dan Whiteley

Tiny Feet – Jenni Moore

U7 Whites – Joe Sutton

U7 Blacks – Paul Bolton

I have been involved with GLJFC since 2011 and with grassroots football since 2008. Firstly, as a coach for my son’s team from U7 to U16 and then as vice-chairman for the club.
I am passionate about football, the area of Gregson Lane and providing an opportunity for all to play the game in a safe and fun environment.
My proudest moment was coaching a team throughout their Junior footballing journey (U7-U16) whilst picking up the Central Lancs Manager of the Year award in 2018.  My coaching journey and involvement with GLJFC has provided lots of laughs, some life lessons, an unfathomable amount of memories for all and unexpectedly, some lifelong friends.

U8s Whites – Robert Carlaw

My journey into football management began with the 97/98 Championship Manager PC game, where I steered Cambridge Town to the Premier League n 04/05 and secured back-to-back titles in 07/08 & 08/09. Needless to say, safe to say I never need to buy a virtual drink in virtual Cambridge.
When my son Rowan joined Gregson Lane Juniors Tiny Feet, I came out of manager retirement to lend a hand when the Under 7s team formed. It’s been incredibly rewarding. We have a diverse team with varying abilities, and we ensure everyone gets equal game time. Our training sessions prioritise fun while focusing on fundamental skills like ball control and dribbling.
Witnessing the team’s remarkable progress in their inaugural season is truly inspiring. The players have grown not only in football prowess but also in their camaraderie, which is immensely gratifying to see.

U8 Whites Assistant – Andrew Richardson

Joined the club towards the end of summer last year when my son, Rory, decided that he (finally!!!) wanted to start playing football. I was aware of the club as I went to school at Walton-Le-Dale some 20 years ago and even then many of my school friends played with Gregson Lane. John Eastham lives a couple of doors down from me and his son has played with the club ever since I’ve known them. Rory’s school friend Rowan also played with Gregson Lane and thus it was fairly easy to turn up and get involved. Once Rory was happy and committed to signing on it was an easy decision for me to get involved. Rob needed an assistant and I was probably more involved than I should have been at training sessions and with the couple of friendlies that we had.


I’ve genuinely been surprised at how much I’ve loved being involved. Originally I’m from Blackburn but moved to Hoghton circa 7-8 years ago and I’ve never been more involved and felt more a part of the community since joining the football club. The kids we have on the team and those that come to training are really good kids, as are their parents, and it’s been great to see their development from the beginning of the season to now. All the kids have made great improvements and continue to do so on a weekly basis.

U8s Blacks – Ryan McManus 

I have been with the club since 2023, and I decided to get involved with the coaching because my son is part of the team. The club had a large number of U7’s available and needed to enter two teams into the league so I thought it would be good to take over the second team and put my football knowledge back into the community by helping the youngest players learn the game and develop into the best players they can be. A highlight of my time with the club was seeing how happy all the boys were when they managed to get their first victory after a tough first couple of months, but every week is a highlight seeing the lads improve each week in training and in their matches but most of all seeing how happy they are to be playing the game with their friends and having a great time doing so.

U8 Blacks Assistant – David Southworth

I’ve been coaching football for over 10 years and have a huge passion for junior football.
2024 is my first year at Gregson Lane as the assistant manager and I decided to help as my son Tommy is part of the team and I love the set up at Gregson Lane.
I’ve loved working with Ryan this year and watching the team grow so much.
Highlight for me is watching my sons first goal and how much fun the boys have win, lose or draw.

U9 Whites – Ryan Collier

I am thrilled to share my journey into the heart of grassroots football, I have always been an ardent supporter of the beautiful game, not just as a spectator, but as an advocate for its power to bring communities together, foster teamwork, and develop the character of our young players.

November 2023, Harry and my nephew Benjamin joined the Gregson Lane Juniors Football Club family, eager to watch my son Harry and his teammates in the Under 8 Whites flourish. The world of grassroots football, with its pure enthusiasm and raw talent, has always resonated with me, and I looked forward to being part of the club’s journey.

However, when unexpected turmoil threatened the stability and progress of our young team, I felt a deep responsibility to step forward—not just as a parent but as someone who believes in the values and potential of grassroots football. It was with great pride and a sense of duty that I accepted the role of football manager for Harry’s team on the 5th December 2023.

This decision was not made lightly. It stems from a desire to provide stability, guidance, and support to a group of incredibly talented and dedicated young players who deserve the best possible start in their footballing lives. I believe in nurturing not just their skills on the pitch but also their sportsmanship, their respect for one another, and their love for the game.

As we embark on this journey together, I am committed to creating an environment where our players can thrive, have fun, and develop a lifelong passion for football. I am honored to be a part of this team and excited to contribute to the legacy of the Gregson Lane Juniors Football Club.

U9 Whites Assistant – Peter Collier

U9 Blacks – Simon Robinson

My son James joined Gregson Lane in early 2023 and developed a real passion for all things football. Seeing the enjoyment he gets out playing football and being part of a team, inspired me. Having played football myself through my younger years, he reignited my passion for football. When the opportunity came to become a coach, I jumped at the chance, hoping to enable kids to enjoy football in the same way James does.
My proudest moment came at our spring tournament, despite our team getting knocked out early in the group stage. They all looked like a together team, helping each other, cheering each other on and they all enjoyed their day.

U10 Whites – Adam Simpkins

Team Assistant – Jenni Moore

U10 Blacks – Martin Holliday

38 years old

Former semi professional footballer

Been with the club since u6s.

I chose to become a coach because I have a huge interest in the game and wanted to help young players grow as people and players, both individually and as part of a team. I also wanted to see youngsters enjoy playing the game by being relaxed and expressing themselves without any pressures. My son also plays for the team. The highlight for me is seeing how much the team improve year upon year, working our way to play at the highest ability level and seeing friendships form.

U10 Blacks Assistant – Paul Jackson

I have been with the club since my eldest son James started playing with U7s in 21/22 season. My youngest Robert is now playing his first seasonand both are already better players than their Dad ever was! Accepting I have little to offer in footballing ability I am focusing on contributing to the longer termsuccess of GLJFC in my roles supporting our hardworking Committee members and managers.

U11 Whites – Reyno Nel

Originally from South Africa. Growing up, sport is part of your everyday life and that makes us very competitive. I was very successful playing sport like rugby, cricket, tennis, golf & athletics from a young age but never really with football ( or soccer) as we called it. Since coming to the UK in 2001, my interest & later my love for football grew. I picked a team off a friend’s bedroom poster, I became an Arsenal fan. Since having kids of my own, both my boys got into playing the game. Having always worked weekends, my work life situation changed. Watching them play, I really wanted to get involved! I was lucky enough to then get an opportunity to get my qualifications & started off as assistant manager. I have Since taken over as manager for the same team & have been manager for a full season. I believe “All kids need is a little help, a little hope, & somebody who believes in them!” I’m firm but fair & understand kids having fun playing sport, being part of a team, is a foundation for them growing up

U11 Whites Assistant – Wayne Martindale

We had 14 players registered so myself and Dave Rowen made the decision to split the team into 2 teams. This created our whites and blacks and giving us 2 teams in an age group (the 1st time in 3 years to have more than one team in an age group).
We had a difficult start to our adventure with covid putting us into lockdown. We finally got to play games again but away from central venue and u7s and u8s playing home and away fixtures.
The highlight of my journey has been watching the kids grow and enjoy and have fun. When I look back at our 1st sessions at u5s and how they ran around having fun and not even knowing how to play football and to now where they are so focused but also having fun.

U11 Blacks – David Rowen

U12s – Kirsty O’Connor 

I’ve been with the club since 2022 with both my boys, 11 and 9 years old, when they joined Gregson Lane JFC. But I only became a coach in January 2024.

I became a coach to help keep the U11’s team together, after the previous coach left in October 2024 and no-one else stepped up to help the team. I did it to keep my boys in a football team, but also, for the other players too, so they could still enjoy playing football.

My highlights would be, seeing the smiles on the players faces when they score a goal, or receive POTM trophy. Being part of a team, is something I’m proud of. The players are happy, they come to training each week and enjoy themselves and this shows on match days too

U12 Assistant – James O’Connor 

U13s – Simon Carey

Been with the club since 2014.

Started to coach due to both sons playing for the club

Highlights , Being involved winning the cup competition with both my sons on separate occasions.

U13s Assistant – Russ Anderton

I’ve always loved playing football and coaching seemed a natural development. I enjoy seeing the players progress, build confidence and enjoy the game as much as I do. Being a coach can be tough at times but very rewarding.

U15s – Mark Hobin

Hi my name is Mark Hobin and along with my mate Stew Suggett I am privileged to coach our current one of our teams.
I kind of fell into coaching when my youngest boy was training with Gregson Lane at 5 years old. Have played for years and recently ‘hung up the boots’, thought I would give it a go as knew I had the support of the club with all I would need to get my coaching started.
The club put me through all the relevant qualifications, and we started the ‘journey’ ha.
I also took up coaching my eldest son at Gregson Lane for several years as must have enjoyed it that much!!
We still going, 2 promotions, 1 as champions so must be doing something right…
We coach the players through fun, enjoyable activities, encouraging the kids to make the decisions. Never a blame culture as we all are always learning, coaches as well as players, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We as coaches ask the kids to be inventive, try all the skills they have developed in training in matches, and above all else, play footy with a smile!!

U15s Assistant – Stew Suggett

I’ve been a coach now at Gregson Lane FC since 2016 and prior to this I was a coach for 2 years at Walton-le-Dale JFC.

Together with my good friend Mark Hobin we currently coach a team which we have done since they were Under 6’s.

As coaches we try to keep the lads inspired, engaged and motivated by planning diverse, fun and intuitive coaching sessions and numerous extra curricular activities outside of the team framework (bowling, footgolf, pizza nights etc).

We encourage them to express themselves as individuals (both on and off the pitch) but also to respect and embrace the team ethos which (we hope) will hold them in good stead for the years to come. We try to mix the right balance of being competitive and playing with a smile on their face.

It’s about enjoying your football after all!

U16 Silvers – Pete McKenna

Time with Club:
Parent helper U6-U8 (2014-2017)
Assistant Manager U9-U10 (2017-2019)
Team Manager U11-U15 (2019-to date)
I only played a handful of games at junior level in my youth but I’m happy to say these were with GLJFC!!
Despite being involved with the club since 2014, I have still managed significantly more games as player manager in two adults teams between the mid nineties and 2013.

U16 Silvers Assistant – Andy Young

U16 Blacks – Andy Glover

U16 Blacks Assistant – Graeme Delaney

Youth – John Eastham

Since being young, I have always taken part in sport. I am passionate about sport. I played for cubs, my school, Preston schoolboys as a teenager and until my late twenties in the Sunday League. I studied sports science at college. I am a season ticket holder at Preston North End FC so I’m used to the highs and lows associated with football !! I am now an FA qualified coach loving my time as the youth team manager as well as one of the clubs fully qualified welfare officers, upholding the values of the club.

I got involved in coaching as my son joined the club when he was five years old and as I love football it was a natural progression to offer my support to the club and my local community. I want the players to know that they matter, grow in confidence, to believe in themselves, express themselves, playing freely on the pitch, be the best that they can be, developing their talent, representing their club and community and I care passionately that they enjoy their football experience, making friends for life and gaining valuable life experiences. Grassroots football is a chance for all who take part to feel part of something amazing making memories for life!
For success, a positive attitude is equally important as ability. If you love football, results don’t change your passion because the aim is always to improve and develop your understanding of the game.
I have made some great friends through Gregson Lane Football Club, meeting some amazing people who give their time freely and I have come to realise that people participating in grassroots football have different motivations but what’s important is that they enjoy the experience. I certainly do.

Youth Assistant – Matt Robinson

Adults – Chris Lowe

I have been part of the Gregson Lane family for around 13-14 years, like most coaches, I caught the bug following my son’s games.

As my own football playing days came to an end I still had the bug and chose to get involved with my son’s team (under 10s). I think I am a better coach than a player and my son tells me so!
Fast forwarding a few years, this is now my twelfth year coaching in this club, starting @ under 10’s, and like most, helping out soon leads to taking ownership of the team.
I am extremely passionate about football, my team, and this club hence I was crazy enough to get involved on the committee.
My Roles covered in my Gregson Lane journey have been:
Fitness Coach/ Coach/Manager/ Adult & Youth Liaison Officer/ Registration Secretary/ Facilities and now Vice Chairman.
My proudest moment was being the 1st team to take a team through the Youth system and progress to Adult football.
My Passion is to inspire and grow this club to its true potential. My second passion is the Frank Thompson pitch and trying to restore this to its former glory and make it the best pitch in the Region.
I am proud to admit that I am so passionate about this club, 2 years ago I got a Gregson Lane Tattoo for my 10th year of coaching, I am not sure it’s a trend that will catch on but we will see.

Adults Assistant – Andrew Middleton

Interested in Coaching or Helping out the Club?

If you are interested in becoming a coach or parent helper please get in touch.  We support our coaches through all training and DBS and welcome people from all backgrounds to get involved.


Interested in learning more about our teams, take a look at each of them on our teams page.


We have had some exciting fixtures over the years and we have captured some amazing moments.