Larne Football Club is proud to partner with the Donate4Daithi Campaign for Organ Donation Week, and to encourage supporters to consider doing something incredible by signing the organ donor register and having a conversation with loved ones about your wishes.

Daithi Mac Gabhann was born with a rare heart condition back in 2016 and was given a 10% chance of survival after open heart surgery at just 4 days old.

Overcoming the odds, Daithi has now been on the waiting list for a heart transplant for more than 4 years. As they wait, Daithi along with parents Mairtin and Seph founded the Donate4Daithi campaign to raise awareness of organ donation.

The Donate4Daithi campaign has also successfully lobbied for a change in the law to ‘soft opt-out’ organ donation in Northern Ireland, which will be known as ‘Daithi’s Law’.

Larne Captain Tomas Cosgrove wore a special pink Donate4Daithi armband during Saturday afternoon’s 2-0 victory over Coleraine to mark the occasion, and we look forward to welcoming Daithi and his family to join the RAWA for a match day at Inver Park soon.

Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register is quick and easy. A few moments of your time, and a simple chat, could save up to nine lives.

To sign the Organ Donor Register visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ 

To read more about Daithi’s story visit: http://donate4daithi.org/

With the Danske Bank Premiership season now underway, we can confirm Season Ticket sales will close on Monday 12th September.

With strong sales and an unbeaten start to our Danske Bank Premiership campaign, there is no better time to get involved and save yourself money over the course of the season.

As always, Inver Park will play host to some massive games over the next few months, starting with none other than the Shanes Hill Derby on Friday night against Ballymena United.

Having been awarded ‘Best Sports Venue of the Year’ at the NI Hospitality Awards this summer, Inver Park has become a hotspot within the local community, attracting supporters of all ages with something on offer to entertain every member of a family.

We have an extensive range of Season Ticket packages available, all of which are available to browse and purchase through Smart Club at the following link:
https://www.smartclubcloud.com/registration/registration.aspx?club=054c5a29-94c7-4a5d-908f-fa926013437c&type=r&fbclid=IwAR3qUEUthJ11W-PO-SnKKTNbPvWe5ELPngvcbT05Xho8gm7i27cRugE8cQI&fs=e&s=cl&fs=e&s=cl

We look forward to welcoming new and returning supporters to Inver Park this Friday and throughout the course of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign!

WE are delighted to announce the appointment of Ryan McNickle as the club’s new Community Engagement Officer.

Funded by the Halifax Foundation’s Community Grants Scheme, the role will see the club further build on our close-knit relationship with supporters and local people through programmes such as After Schools, Mini Soccer, school visits and much more.

The appointment comes as the club are set to launch various campaigns under the umbrella of ‘Inver Reds in the Community’, in a commitment to further increase activity in the community which had previously been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the appointment, General Manager Niall Curneen said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Ryan join our growing team as the club’s Community Engagement Officer. It is a role that we believe to be vital as we seek to both increase our activity and further build relationships within the local community, which has been difficult over the past two years in the midst of the pandemic.

“Ryan returns to Inver Park having completed a placement year with us in 2020/21 as part of his studies and is already offering many unique ideas which we will be seeking to turn into action in the coming weeks and months.”

Looking forward to what lies ahead, Ryan said: “This very exciting new role and avenue for the club and for myself. Through this role and my appointment, we will hopefully achieve a positive influence on both the physical and mental wellbeing within the community of Larne, through new and exciting programmes.”

For more information on community engagement programmes being run by Larne Football Club, please contact ryanmcnickle@larnefc.com.

Larne Ladies are delighted to announce former players Paula and Helen McKenna have been added to the Olympic coaching staff ahead of the upcoming season.

Both women come into the role as respected players at the club and will now be working hard to help nurture the future talent coming through at Inver Park.

Olympic manager Gary Hood said: “Our Olympic coaching team is growing with Paula joining as a coach for the season ahead.

“Having been the captain of the Olympic since it started in 2019, and being a great influence on everyone on the pitch in last three seasons, I think she will be as good a coach on the side-lines.

“Paula has been coaching in our youth set up over the last few years and helping myself and William out massively in the background to help run both teams.

“I’d also like to welcome Helen McKenna into the group as she joins the coaching set-up within the Olympic.

“A good few players will have played with Helen before and know what a great player she is and the wealth of knowledge she has in the game.

“Having played at international level her experience will be great to pass on and I’m sure her coaching career will be just as exciting.”

Helen herself is looking forward to getting started with her coaching career at the club. She said: “I’m really excited to get back involved with Larne Ladies! I’m also very excited to cut my teeth in the coaching world with a young and talented group of girls.

“I hope I can bring my experience from my playing career to the younger girls and see what the season brings.”

Paula, who is also ready to make the transition into the world of coaching, added: “I’m very excited to be starting a new role at Larne ladies within the coaching team.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead. Having played for the team myself for a number of years I’m happy to get the opportunity to develop myself further within the club and really looking forward to seeing what the season brings.”

 

 

The Invermen are back in Danske Bank Premiership action as they travel to The Showgrounds to take on Ballymena United in the Shane’s Hill Derby. Kick-off is at 3 pm.

Tickets and Travel

Tickets are available to purchase online for supporters at the following link – https://www.ballymenaunitedfc.com/tickets/index_away.php

All three supporters’ clubs are running buses to the game today. Larne NISC have two buses leaving Larne Rangers Club at 1:30 pm. There is currently still space on bus 2. Contact Michael McCowan or Derek McWhirter to book a seat.

Inver Red and Whites and Larne FC Reds both have buses leaving from 1889 Sports and Social Club. Inver Red and Whites bus is fully booked and will be leaving at 1:30 pm. Larne FC Reds bus will be leaving slightly later at 1:45 pm, contact Gary Peoples or Alan Hall to book a seat.

1889 Sports and Social Club

It’s Away Days at 1889 today! There will be special matchday offers from 12-1 pm and then again from 6-7 pm where you will be able to get pints for £3.50, 5 bottles of Carlsberg for £10, 4 selected bottles of beer and cider for £10 and a Copeland Gin & Mixer for £5. 

The Inver Reds

After a 1-1 draw on Monday past to current league champions, Linfield, the Invermen will hope to regain winning league form today. Larne overcame Ballymena at The Showgrounds in the County Antrim Shield 4-0 a matter of 11 days ago and hope to do so again this afternoon.

The Opposition

Although Ballymena United suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to Larne in a recent outing, they bring a greater strength into today’s game after beating current league leaders Cliftonville 1-0 last weekend. Depending on other results, with a win, Ballymena could find themselves jumping from 9th to 6th in the overall standings.

LARNE Football Club are delighted to announce that we will be supporting Larne Pride Festival 2019 on Saturday 17th August.

The event, hosted at Olderfleet Bar Larne, will be the first ever Pride Festival held in the East-Antrim area. As the day coincides with our important league game versus Ballymena United at Inver Park, our players will be wearing rainbow laces during the game, as a show of support to all races, religions and sexuality.

Local equality ambassador Chris McNaughten had the following to say, “it’s brilliant to have the support of Larne FC and it truly means so much for our community. The club, which is such a strong pillar within our town, is supporting and accepting everyone which sets a great example for others.”

Chairman, Gareth Clements also commented, “with the football club becoming a primary focal point of progress and all that is good in Larne, we believe it is important to show support for this event to celebrate diversity and inclusion within our town. It is important that we promote equality and inclusiveness in football as a valued part of our sporting fabric. We hope that the Pride Festival is a success and fully reflects the ‘no judgment or discrimination’ message the organisers are promoting.”

Everyone at Larne Football Club would like to wish Chris and his team good luck with their upcoming event and would urge the town to support them where possible.

#WeAreLarne #BeTheDifference

LARNE Football Club are proud to confirm that we will be sponsoring the Dalriada Festival 2019, through Purplebricks UK, for the second year in a row.

As part of the sponsorship, the club will have a heavy presence in and around the Glenarm Castle vicinity over the course of the two-day festival.

Players from the Larne Ladies first team will be on the ground, running a penalty shoot-out competition from 12.45-1.45pm and 3.45-4.45pm on both days. We will also have a make shift Club Shop on site, selling official club merchandise from 11-5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Speaking about the sponsorship, Chairman Gareth Clements said “Larne Football Club is delighted to be associated with this premiere event in the calendar of our Borough.

The event is a great partner for the club, as the ethos of what they are setting out to achieve somewhat mirrors what we are striving to deliver at Inver Park – Great, fun filled, family days out.

When we set out on this journey in September 2017 our modus operandi was to put Larne Football Club at the hub of everything good in the local community, I believe we have made great inroads to achieving this and getting behind this wonderful event can only but help us further along the path to achieving this goal.

We look forward to seeing many of the happy, smiling faces in Glenarm this weekend and at Inver Park on 10thAugust for the return of top flight football against Warrenpoint Town.”

Both our penalty shoot-out competition and Club Shop will be located at the Village Green area. We look forward to seeing everyone at what is set to be a fantastic family event!

#WeAreLarne #BeTheDifference

LARNE Football Club is delighted to announce that we are partnering with local charity MindWise for the upcoming 2019/20 season.

The partnership will see all aspects of our club take part in awareness sessions throughout the course of the season, as we aim to make our players aware of the importance of taking care of their own mental health.

Andrea Holden, from the charity, said: “Mindwise works to support those at risk of and affected by severe mental illness and mental health difficulties.

“We are an independent charity in Northern Ireland and have several services including Community Resource Centres, Housing Services, Advocacy Services, NI Appropriate Adult Scheme, Mums Wellness Project and Family Wellness Projects. 

“We also have an extensive volunteer service who we wouldn’t be able to run many of the activities that support people across NI.

“By going into partnership with Larne Football Club it will help raise our profile throughout the community and hopefully reduce stigma and discrimination.”

The first session was held in The Agnew Lounge on Monday 13th May, with Larne Ladies players receiving guidance on how to be aware of the symptoms of poor mental health and the avenues to take when wishing to get help from a professional.

We look forward to growing our relationship with MindWise and aiding them in their attempt to spread such an important message throughout our local community.

#RAWA #BeTheDifference


OUR Chairman Gareth Clements joined players and staff in welcoming members of the local Larne NI Hospice Support Group and participants of NI Children’s Hospice Christmas campaign ‘Jingle All The Way’ to Inver Park on Tuesday evening.

Our first team players took time out of their training session to join the group for the official handover of an amazing total of £34,043.61 to NI Children’s Hospice Regional Officer Catherine O’Hara. The grand total, raised by many individuals, schools, clubs and organisations will provide life changing care for babies and children with hugely complex and life limiting illnesses.

Chairman Gareth Clements said “I am delighted that our club has played its part along with so many in the local area to provide essential palliative care for a very special team of children facing such huge challenges. We will continue to support this wonderful charity and urge everyone to get behind Jingle 2019.”.

We would like to thank everyone who helped us make a difference by donating toys to our Inver Park collection over the Christmas period.

#RAWA #WeAreLarne

LARNE Youth will be hosting a trials day at Inver Park on Sunday 5th May for players of the 2008 age group.

The trials session will run from 10-12pm for any players looking to join an established squad for the upcoming 2019/20 season. Successful trialists will also represent the club at this summer’s O’Neills Foyle Cup.

To register your interest or to resolve any queries, please contact Jon Greer (Year Head) on 07825141520 or email youth@larnefc.com.

#WeAreLarne #RAWA 

WE are delighted to announce that we will be sponsoring the shorts of local boxing sensation Kelvin McDonald for his upcoming fight on Saturday 25th May, opponent TBC.

The fight will take place as part of the ‘Celtic Clash 8’ show at The Devenish Complex in Belfast. Tickets are priced at £30 (standard) and £45 (ringside) and can be purchased directly from McDonald by contacting him at kelvinmcd1999@icloud.com.

Speaking about the sponsorship, McDonald said “I would like to thank Larne Football Club for helping me out by sponsoring my shorts and taking the stress off my hands during my fight camp. This is just one example of how the club is working to inspire young people in the town and supporting upcoming athletes. I can’t wait for my fight and no stone has been left unturned in my preparation. However, there is still an opponent in the way, so it will be a hard fight but I’m 100% confident that I will return to Larne victorious.”

McDonald is a 1-0 professional boxer, fighting locally out of Larne Golden Gloves gym. His previous fight and professional debut was a decision victory over Alec Bazza, having knocked his opponent down early in the first round.

We would like to wish Kelvin the best of luck for his fight and a safe training camp.

#WeAreLarne #LarneDNA

LESS than 24 hours after Tiernan Lynch’s men were presented with the Bluefin Sport Championship trophy, Inver Park hosted another event which brought the town together. 

For the first time, Larne Football Club hosted a ‘Game of Three Halves’ event at Inver Park, together with Larne Rugby Club and Shane O’Neill’s GAC to offer children from Larne of all backgrounds the chance to try different sports and make new friends.

This is not the first time the three clubs have worked together as the Game of Three Halves initiative dates back to 2014, when it was hosted by Larne Rugby Club. Indeed, the IFA, the GAA and the Ulster Branch have worked together on this initiative across Northern Ireland for almost 10 years.

Former Ireland Rugby International, and Larne man, Trevor Ringland is a major advocate of the Game of Three Halves programme and he was at Inver Park to provide his support and encouragement.

The event was also featured on Sky Sports News to a national audience as part of their coverage of the weekend’s title presentation celebrations.

Chairman, Gareth Clements said, “Sport is a fantastic way of bringing people together and breaking down the barriers which can exist between us, even at a young age. We are delighted to work with other sports clubs in the town to do just that.

“The youth of the town is our future and bringing them together in an initiative like this, is an important investment in the future of Larne. It may well have been the first time that some of those kids were on the pitch at Inver Park and we want them to come back as supporters next season, as we start our Premiership adventure.”

Children wearing the colours of each of the three clubs mixed together enjoying a fantastic morning of fun on the very pitch their Saturday afternoon heroes made history by lifting the Inver Reds’ first league title in 47 years.

There was also one very special visitor, the Bluefin Sport Championship trophy. All of the kids who took part had the opportunity to lift the trophy and have photos taken in what was a memorable morning at Inver Park.

Kenny Bruce added, “The commitment I have made is to provide a facility at Inver Park which is for the use of the whole community. This initiative shows that Inver Park is open to everyone.

“On Sunday you had the kids from The Music Yard playing in the background and three sports represented. This is an initiative which has been going for five years and we were delighted to be able to host it this year. We will continue to work with other clubs and groups in the town to help build a better future for Larne.”

LARNE Football Club will be celebrating World Health Day this weekend by hosting a range of activities at Inver Park in an attempt to encourage local children to get active by participating in a number of sports.

On Sunday morning, Larne Youth, Larne Rugby Club and Shane O’Neills GAC will take to our new artificial surface to take part in a ‘Game of 3 Halves’ introductory session, with the aim of hosting a full programme in the Summer. ‘Game of 3 Halves’ is a cross community programme which encourages young people to try a range of different sports in mixed groups in a 1 hour-long action-packed session.

At 2pm, our Larne Ladies side will host Cliftonville as they seek to continue their preparations ahead of the new season. Much like our men’s team, the backing from the #RAWA can make all the difference and all support will be welcome as the season draws near.

Joining us at Inver Park to celebrate World Health Day will be James Cooper and his Sky Sports team. We look forward to showing our community in a positive light during what should be a fantastic weekend for everyone in our town.

#WeAreLarne

TONIGHT we welcome Coleraine FC to Inver Park for our much eagerly anticipated Tennent’s Irish Cup quarter final tie. I’d like to extend my welcome to our visitors from the North West, most notably their directors, management, players, staff and supporters, and I wish them an enjoyable visit to Larne.

Having worked, lived and socialised in the triangle area for the best part of 30 years, I have a great affiliation and strong connection with many of the ‘Bannsiders’ travelling to the game. The banter at work over the last few weeks has been good, but the stick I’ve taken socially over the past eighteen months has been even better. Everyone knows the drill tonight, the gloves are off, may the best team win and I just hope I’m smiling at the end of the night!

It is quite surreal writing this and welcoming ‘live’ BBC cameras to Inver Park for the first time in our history. Yes, it was always in our plan, it may have arrived a little earlier than expected though,but like everything that has come our way since Kenny Bruce got involved, we have embraced the challenge, risen to it and I’d like to think we have delivered.

In little over ten days we have poured 200 cube of concrete, fitted 700+ seats, fitted lighting on the Riverside walkway to the Bleach Green End, had countless meetings with planners, contactors, BBC, PSNI and local authority to ensure we got this ‘show on the road’. Not a bad effort, and my thanks go to everyone who has worked around the clock to make it happen. 

We could easily have sat back and let the project develop along the agreed pathway, but our reasoning for digging so deep was twofold. 

The first was selfish, we want the ‘improved’ Inver Park to be seen at it’s best by the viewing public and all our ex-pats. Delivering a best in class surface and floodlighting is all well and good, but we all know atmosphere makes a game by helping lift the players performances to the next level, so number two was, we needed to accommodate as many visiting fans as safely possible to ensure that happened.

I think we’ve done our best on both fronts, I hope the BBC get the spectacle they deserve, and that both clubs showcase the best that NIFL and the IFA bring to the local game.

I have talked before about the romance of the Tennent’s Irish Cup and it being the blue riband club competition in Northern Ireland. The games and opportunities it has thrown up for the two Larne clubs over the next few days fully back this up and bear testament to that old ‘magic of the cup’ saying.

The majority of supporters inside Inver tonight will hope the result goes in the underdogs favour, and won’t need reminding how we felt after our semi-final reversal last year. I’d urge you to get behind the players from the start, in the hope that we can avenge this result and enjoy another opportunity to make the showcase day out in May.

Like many Inver Reds I’ll be on the road to South Down on Saturday to support our neighbours from Denis Harvey Park, as the Tech take on Warrenpoint Town. I know many of the boys in ‘Red & Green’ will be with us on Friday night, you have done both your club and our town proud in getting to the last eight. My message is simple, leave nothing out there and see where it takes you. No regrets…WWWW 

All that remains is for me to thank our match sponsor, who is with us for each and every cup tie this season My Home Move, our match ball sponsor who are Larne Athletics Club. We are also grateful to The Curran Court Hotel, Graham’s Pizza and Classic Drinks for their continued support throughout the year.

Let’s make Inver LOUD and PROUD!

Regards

Gareth

#RAWA

LARNE’S Tennent’s Irish Cup last sixteen tie against Crumlin Star at Inver Park will kick off at 3pm as scheduled.

Larne Tech OB are also at home in the sixth round when they play Strabane Athletic with a 1.30pm kick off. In order to avoid a clash between the two fixtures in the town, Larne Football Club requested Crumlin Star’s consent to reschedule the kick off to 4pm, which was provided.

However, the IFA Challenge Cup Committee did not approve the kick off switch as the later finish would clash with the Quarter Final draw which is to be broadcast live on BBC Radio Ulster and the Irish Football Association Facebook page.

#RAWA #WeAreLarne

As many will have already noticed, our final pre-split game versus Loughgall at Inver Park has been pushed back to Saturday 19th January with a 2pm kick off. The game, which was originally scheduled for Saturday 12th, was one of the fixtures included when our players and management went on their Christmas visit to local primary schools, where they gave away free tickets.

We would like to make parents aware that these tickets are still valid for the game on Saturday 19th and that we are looking forward to seeing all pupils from Corran Integrated, St. MacNissi’s and Larne & Inver Primary Schools at the game. We hope that as many as possible will join the #RAWA in cheering The Invermen into the post-split round of fixtures and that a great day will be had all round.

#WeAreLarne #RAWA

Peter Wilson reports from Loughshore Hotel Arena

A SECOND East Antrim derby in three days produced a deserved 2-0 win for Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Hotel Arena. Goals from Stewart Nixon and Daniel Kelly alongside a saved David McDaid penalty and the dismissal of Fuad Sule and manager Tiernan Lynch all added to the drama on the day.

The result means Larne remain top of the Championship but with a reduced lead of 13 points as they head into the final pre-split game at home to Loughgall in three weeks’ time.

An early good ball from David Scullion went to Ben Tilney but the Englishman’s touch meant he was unable to trouble Aaron Hogg. On 10 minutes, Tilney tried again, this time finding space in the box however his effort was comfortably saved by Hogg once more.

Carrick also tried their luck just after a quarter of an hour; Caolan Loughran’s free kick being tipped over by Conor Devlin.

The opening goal came on 20 when Stewart Nixon scrambled Reece Neale’s inviting corner across the goal-line.

The Invermen came close early in the second half; Tomas Cosgrove passing to Marty Donnelly, the number 11 guiding his shot over the bar.

Shortly after the hour mark, David McDaid was fouled inside the area and stepped up to take a Larne penalty, but the Rangers keeper went the right way to keep it out.

Daniel Kelly made it two six minutes later, getting on the end of a corner to nod home.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, Fuad Sule was given his marching orders by referee Declan Hassan after a second yellow card, not long after Tiernan Lynch was also sent to the stands.

Carrick Rangers: Hogg, McCauley, Neale, Surgenor, Rodgers (Cage 84), Loughran, McMillen (McAlister 90 +1), Anderson, Kelly, Nixon (Smiley 89), Smith

Unused subs: Malcolmson, Mitchell

Larne: Devlin, Sule, Ramsey, McEleney, Kelly, Scullion (McNally 66), McDaid, Donnelly (Gilmour 79), Tilney (Stuart 79), Cosgrove, Hughes

Unused subs: Dougherty, Hassin

Referee: Declan Hassan

What’s up next

The Inver Men get a break from league action as they welcome Premiership side Newry City on Saturday 5 January, in their Irish Cup Fifth Round clash. Kick-off at Inver Park is 3pm.

MIDFIELDER Lee Lynch has become the first addition to Tiernan Lynch’s squad ahead of the January transfer window.

The 27-year-old midfielder arrives at Inver Park, having spent the second half of last season at Sligo Rovers.

Lee arrives with an impressive list of honours from his time in the League of Ireland, including a First Division winners medal with Limerick in 2016, the 2014 FAI Presidents Cup with St Pats and the Premier Division title and FAI Cup with Sligo in 2012 and 2013.

Lee has also been capped for the Republic of Ireland at under-17, under-18 and under-19 level, having begun his career in England with West Brom.

Boss Tiernan Lynch was delighted to get the signature of the much sought after playmaker, following his departure from Rovers at the end of their season.

“We had to fight off two or three League of Ireland clubs, and at least one Premiership side in Northern Ireland was very interested in Lee,” the boss said.

“We brought him up here and showed him around and told him the plans for the club and the journey we are going on.

“Lee, like every other player we sign, had to fit the bill not only on the field but off it as well. He is a very good footballer and has a lot of experience behind him.”

Lee will be eligible to play once the transfer window opens and is raring to go, having trained with his new team-mates at Inver Park this week.

“I spoke with Kenny and Tiernan, and had a couple of options to go to other clubs once my contract had ended,” he said.

“I spoke to them numerous times and I decided this was the right club to be at. I’m excited to be here for the long term and I can’t wait to get going and see where it takes us.

“I’m here to help the squad and try to help the club get to where they want to go. Once you see the place and understand the plans it was a no-brainer to come.

“The team have been doing an amazing job so far, there’s still half a season to go, but everyone seems very focused, so I just want to come and help in whatever I can.”

LARNE’S long unbeaten league run came to an end in the incessant rain at Ferney Park.

Tiernan Lynch’s men made the long trip to Fermanagh after 18 games without defeat, however a goal in each half from the hosts ended that sequence and gave the Mallards a deserved victory.

The deadlock was broken on 16 minutes when the Larne rearguard failed to deal with Richard Clarke’s through ball. Ryan Campbell broke the offside trap to loft the ball past Conor Devlin.

While Larne had dangerous moments on the break, they failed to trouble former Inver Red John Connelly in the home goal.

It was the home side who could have doubled their lead just before the break when goalscorer Campbell saw his shot cleared off the line, after rounding Conor Devlin.

A similar pattern of play followed in the second half and Harry McConkey’s men made sure of the points 15 minutes from time.

This time Campbell turned provider and his cross from the right wing was met with an acrobatic finish by Jason McCartney six yards out.

Substitute Darren Stuart had an almost instant opportunity to set up a grandstand finish, but his steered his effort wide of the post when one-on-one with John Connelly, as the home side finished comfortably in the lead.

Larne: Devlin, Cosgrove, Tilney, McNally, McEleney, Kelly, Scullion (Stuart), Sule, Hughes, Donnelly (Ramsey), McDaid

Unused subs: Doughterty, Henry, Hassin

TOMORROW we make the long trip west to take on an ever improving Ballinamallard United side under the guidance of former ‘Inver Red’ Harry McConkey.

The young ‘Mallards are gradually turning the tide and climbing the table, as the fruits of Harry’s early season labours have started to pay dividends.

Make no mistake about it, Harry is a top-class coach and in Richard Clarke they have one of the best in the business leading them on the park. We are in no doubt about the size of the task in front of us, but on the back of last Saturdays defeat of Dundela, we travel in confidence.

Before moving on from last Saturday’s game, could I take this opportunity to congratulate Jeff Hughes, the scorer of our opener against Dundela, on winning the NIFWA Championship Player of the Month award for November. This recognition is nothing less than Jeff deserves, the application and commitment shown to the cause since his arrival ‘back home’ has been second to none and I think everyone in the town will echo my sentiments; well done pal.

Well, what a second half we put in last week to see off the Duns! The first half saw us fight the conditions and a resolute Dundela rearguard, but after the break we found our rhythm and our quality came to the fore, with strikes from David Scullion and a well-deserved treble for Davy McDaid.

Collectively, in the stands, on the bench and on the pitch, I don’t think I have ever seen smiles as wide or high fives as handsome to honour Davy’s goals. The lad has worked tirelessly for the team over the last few months, with no personal rewards to show for it. Yes, he was feeling it but he kept working hard, even coming in on his days off to work on his finishing. These things don’t go unnoticed and it shows the mark of the guy to make these sacrifices in an attempt to find his form again. Davy, form is temporary, class is permanent and thankfully you ooze the latter both on and off the pitch – well done.

Before concluding on last Saturday, it was a great personal pleasure of mine to welcome Paul Malone and a number of the players from the late 80’s to the game last Saturday as guests of the club. The boys had an absolute ball and couldn’t thank me enough upon leaving, the football was good, the welcome was good and the hospitality was, ‘Larne Style’…! I’m currently working on a few guests from old for the Boxing Day and Irish Cup fixtures, its great to see the old boys buy into what we are trying to build here and long may it continue.

Sunday night saw Kenny Bruce, the board, management and players give a presentation to members of the Inver Read & Whites in a packed-out Agnew Lounge. The evening exuded positivity from all involved and I think the supporters left with a clear view of what to expect coming down the line, and also that the club is in safe hands to ensure all our goals are met and delivered upon. I thank everyone for their support and I look forward to the next session once we have put another few key pieces into the jigsaw.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife Karen and everyone who donated to the Larne FC / Salvation Army Christmas Toy Appeal. Across the last three home games we had over 150 gifts donated from the #RAWA to help those less fortunate in our local community this Christmas. On Monday Karen delivered these gifts to an overwhelmed Salvation Army volunteer in the Dunluce Street shop. Thank you for helping us help others, it’s a red and white thing!

Finally, can I think the supporters who volunteered their time and skills to give our club shop a makeover last week, it is greatly appreciated. Our recently appointed board members William Carson and Andrew McNickle along with their wives have picked up the baton on the running of the shop and from what I have seen to date they are going to make a terrific success of it. The old saying goes ‘Divide the task and multiply the success’, I believe this will ring true here. Watch this space for exciting additions in the New Year.

Travel in numbers tomorrow and get behind us from the off…

Regards

Gareth

#RAWA

Video

8th July 2022

MATCH REACTION | Larne 5-0 Comber Rec

Kyle McClure catches up with William Noble, after the Inver . .

8th July 2022

MATCH REACTION | Dundalk 2-1 Larne

Ian Cahoon speaks to manager Tiernan Lynch after the Inver . .

8th July 2022

INSIDE TRAINING | Pre-Season

Get access all areas as the Inver men returned to . .

8th July 2022

INTERVIEW | Daniel Kearns

Ian Cahoon speaks to new signing Daniel Kearns, as the . .