The LARGS have caught an attacking midfielder who has become a league winner in New Zealand – and is the performance coach for Scottish Premiership stars.
Jack Haggerty was one of the stars in Largs Thistle’s recent 5-0 friendly win over Greenock Juniors.
It was its first match in a year after New Zealand’s season ended last September, and was discontinued due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lochwinnoch-based player had originally intended to move to a club in Australia after a vacation in Melbourne but the pandemic paid for it – and he instead set his sights on returning home.
The 24-year-old revealed Thistle defender Laurie McMaster recommended a move to the Barrfields.
Despite his long absence, Haggerty is pleased with the impact he’s made on Ravenscraig’s men and says he’s settled well at Thistle.
He said: “I came back to Scotland with the Corona virus problem – and I have heard a lot of positive things about Largs Thistle. I know Laurie McMaster well and she has told me about the opportunities at Largs.
“I play on the left side of midfield and my main asset is chasing defenders and supporting the front line with crosses and assists.
“I usually score a few goals but I get more in terms of assists.
“Training so far has been great fun and it’s all about possession of a sharp short ball and it’s great to be back on the pitch for the 5-0 win over Greenock.
“It’s been a long wait since last September – pre-season was supposed to start in February but because the virus happened it didn’t happen.”
Signing at the Thistle with a number of new players, including Keir Milliken and Cory Hughes, it is an exciting time at Largs, and Haggerty is looking to showcase his abilities on the Barrfields side.
He said: “Based in Lochwinnoch, I am close to my personal training, and Largs is only 20 minutes down the road back and that’s why Largs is the perfect match for me.
“I was impressed with manager Stuart Davidson – as soon as he first called me, I could immediately tell his professionalism. Even though we are months away from getting back to football, he’ll text me every week asking how I’m up and asking me how the lock is going – I just feel like he’s going the extra mile and I’m excited to sign for Largs, and can’t wait for the season to start. ”
Haggerty played in midfield for the Celtic youth for eight years before joining the Airdrieonians – and featured in the team that beat Dunfermline in the final game of the Championship season in 2013 that brought down the Pars side.
He later signed with Wellington, New Zealand-based Waterside Karori after stints with the Airdrieonians, and said he was really enjoying life at the bottom.
The spell in New Zealand has also seen him develop a one-on-one training program which has seen him work with Motherwell defender Ricki Lamie and Celtic defender Jack Hendry, who is currently on loan at KV Oostende in Belgium.
She said: “I love life in New Zealand and had a very successful time in Wellington.
“The first season we got promoted, the second season we won the league and reached the play-off final, and in the third season we won the league and the play-off final.
“Wellington is an amazing place and it really is beautiful – the people there are so friendly.
“I have played with Airdrie for several seasons and have been injured for a long time and I feel frustrated.
“I have a friend who went to play in New Zealand and kept in touch with him and after getting back to fitness I asked if there was still a chance – and grabbed it when it came.
“The club will provide me with accommodation and food and in turn I work at their football academy – as well as tailor my training program originating from New Zealand.
“It’s basically one hour of practice with football instead of going to the gym and using weights. I can work with young boys, amateurs, Scottish professionals or even internationals.
Describing football ‘one-to-one’ performance coaching, he said: “This was a football-only private coaching session and I had a few clients at SPFL as well as boys who just wanted to lose weight or soccer players looking to train sharpness. they.
“This is very useful for footballers who have not been able to play during the lockdown.
“It’s great to see the benefits the players are giving and seeing their progress.
“People like Jack Hendry scored the winning goal on loan at his club in Belgium because I helped him in rehabilitation for eight to 12 weeks and he scored the winning goal in his first game back.
“Ricki Lamie did well at Motherwell, and another Aidan Nesbitt at Greenock Morton.”
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