Christopher Davison, whose address was given in court as The Printworks, Hodgson Street, Sheffield, but on previous court appearances was listed as Granville Gardens, Portadown, appeared in Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday.
The defendant had previously pleaded guilty to five counts - one of causing or inciting a child 13-16 to engage in a sexual act and four counts of sexual communication with a child.
The offences involved two 14-year-old boys and took place between July 24, 2015 and August 25, 2015.
A prosecution barrister told the court that police were alerted to the offences after one of the boy’s mothers accessed her son’s iPad and saw messages that had been exchanged between her son and Davison, whom she knew was her son’s football coach.
The lawyer said, “These were of a sexual nature and there were also a number of photographs.”
When questioned by police, the defendant admitted he had sent the messages.
A defence barrister said it was terrible for any mother to realise her son had received messages of this nature from someone who was in a position of trust as a coach.
He said, “He (Davison) has put himself in a terrible position. He feels great shame for what he did as do his parents, family and friends. Whatever went through his mind, it is clearly a problem that is there and he is struggling to understand why he did it.”
The barrister said Davison, who has no previous convictions, had moved on with his life and was now in his second year at university as an architect technician.
He added, “He understands fully he will never coach again. The messages seemed to be bravado. There was no attempt to meet the boys.”
He said a probation report from authorities in England concluded that specific interventions are needed and a community order would address the long-term reduction of risk.
Judge Lynch QC adjourned sentencing for a further day while he considered the case.
On Wednesday, he issued a probation order for two years, with the court stating that having considered a pre-sentence report, it was of the opinion that “supervision of the defendant was desirable for securing the rehabilitation of the defendant”.
Davison was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years and is the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for seven years.