NEXT up to feature on the “Why I Love Larne FC” series is Alan Girvin, who talks us through his role within the club and how he got involved many years ago.
What is your name and role at Larne Football Club?
My name is Alan Girvin and I am the Head Groundsman at Larne Football Club.
What do you do within your role on a daily basis at the club?
During the course of a normal day I have to ensure that Inver Park is kept clean and tidy. If any small tasks were to arise, it would be my job to get them sorted out and fixed. I also help to keep the pitch maintained, brushing, and combing the pitch with a tractor and rake around three times a week. Overall, I assist in the general upkeep of the grounds.
With matchdays being different, what would you do for a home game at Inver Park?
On a matchday, I am usually one of the first to arrive in the morning to open the ground. My first job is to scan the pitch to see if there are any foreign objects that need to be removed and put up the corner flags. I then inspect the changing rooms to ensure that they are tidy, clean and ready to be used by the players. I check that the turnstiles are functioning correctly and begin placing traffic cones on the main road to prevent illegal parking around Inver Park.
How did you get involved with Larne Football Club?
I have been involved with the club for a long period of time. Around eight years ago the club were looking for board members and I had the pleasure of watching the team on the pitch and wanted to give something back to the club for giving me that opportunity, so I stepped up. Sometime after I stepped down from the board and the Head Groundsman job had become available, so I started doing that and I have been here ever since!
Do you find it easy to manage your other commitments along with your role at the club, how do you do it?
Yes, I am fully retired so I have the time required to fully commit to the club and fulfil my role. So, I like to keep busy by coming to the club most days and giving a helping hand around the place whenever and wherever I can.
Finally, why do you love the club and what motivates you to carry out your role?
I have loved, followed and supported the club from a young age, my father and uncle both played for the team when I was young so that got me involved and interested. My father played on one wing and my uncle on the other, the love of the club is in the blood! I enjoy my role and being involved with the club, the standard and type of football the team are playing now is far superior and of a higher quality to anything I can remember and I have been following Larne for 64 years! Why would anyone not want to watch football at Inver Park?