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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Lismore Thistles sign Coach of the Year to lead Premier League team

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Chris Layland won the Byron Shire Sportsperson of the Year award in 2019. Photo supplied.

Lismore Thistles have signed 2020 Northern NSW Coach of the Year, Chris Layland, to take charge of the men’s Premier League team for the upcoming 2021 season.

One of the most experienced coaches on the Far North Coast, Layland has vast experience with football on the far north coast and at elite representative level.

‘I am excited and proud to join Lismore Thistles: one of the most historic and successful clubs on the far north coast,’ Layland said.

‘We are looking to build Thistles back into a major force. We will have a winning mentality. We will play good football and we will challenge for trophies’.

For the past four seasons, Layland has been with Byron Bay as their Summer Youth League (SYL) head coach and their technical director.

At Byron Bay, Layland oversaw the winning of 16 trophies and implemented the club’s High Performance Program – but it was his record-equalling hat trick of SYL titles that he is most remembered for.

Along with his achievements on the Far North Coast, where he has coached for 18 years, Layland also has success coaching at the elite level with his son, Christian, who recently joined the A-League coaching staff at the top-of-the-table Central Coast Mariners.

Together they won the Australian national title with the New South Wales State Team in 2018 and a bronze medal at the NSW State Titles in 2016.

Layland has also been instrumental in sending many of the region’s top talents to trial with clubs such as Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney Olympic. It was through his connections that FFNC Golden Boot winner, Sam Shepherd, signed with Wanderers; winning an U20 championship with the A-League club.

Layland has completed his FFA B Licence course, is an FFA Coaching Course Presenter, and has previously been a Brisbane Roar Academy coach.

‘I urge all players who would like to join us at Thistles to give me a call on 0403 926 132. We welcome new and returning players,’ he said

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