We are delighted to announce the signing of Ben Doherty, on a three-year contract at Inver Park.
The attacking midfield player, 24, arrives at the club from Coleraine, with Conor McKendry signing for the Bannsiders as part of the transfer.
Having began his career at his Derry City, Ben spent time on loan with Institute and Glenavon before a permanent move to Coleraine in January 2019.
In those two and a half years Doherty earned a reputation as one of the most prized midfielders in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Larne boss Tiernan Lynch couldn’t hide his delight after seeing the player sign his contract at Inver Park earlier today.
“Everyone in the league knows about Ben’s qualities and I am absolutely delighted we could bring him to Larne,” he said.
“I have to thank the club for making this possible and we feel it is a major signing for us as we continue the process of building the squad at Inver Park.
“Ben is just 24, but he already has significant experience in this league under his belt, which is a big factor.
“He has done it week in, week out at this level and shown his quality in European games as well. We’re delighted to have him with us.
“We also want to wish Conor McKendry well as he moves on and thank him for all of his efforts. He came back very strong from a serious injury and that is testament to his work ethic and desire.”
As for the player himself, Ben is relishing the prospect of testing himself in a full-time environment as well as helping Larne to continue the progress made over the last four years.
“It’s a big move for myself and everyone knows there is a big project going on at Larne,” he said.
“It was a deal that was easily done and one that was well handled, from both clubs, and I’m just delighted to get it over the line.
“Larne had a very successful year last season. They won the County Antrim Shield, gave the league a real good go, got to the Irish Cup final and got to Europe.
“I’ve wanted to test myself with full-time football for a while now and I feel the time is right to do that, so I can’t wait to get going now.”
Chairman Gareth Clements thanked his counterpart at Coleraine, Colin McKendry, as well as Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney for their professionalism during the process.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get the deal for Ben across the line, after protracted yet healthy negotiations with Coleraine.
“I believe the signing sends a clear message out as to the profile of player Larne Football Club is now in the market for.
“Ben is a proven performer, not yet at the peak of his career, who I believe can only prosper and thrive in our full time set up.
“I would like to wish Conor McKendry all the very best for the future also, as he makes the switch to Ballycastle Road as part of the deal.
“Finally, I would like to thank both Oran Kearney and Colin McKendry for their honesty and professionalism throughout the process.”
Ben Doherty is the fourth summer recruit at Inver Park, following the arrivals of goalkeepers Mike Argyrides and Rohan Ferguson, as well as defenders Kofi Balmer and Cian Bolger.
Keep an eye on our social media later this evening for a full interview with Ben.