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Chairman’s Message: 9 November 2018

TOMORROW, we travel to Shamrock Park for what is sure to be a mouth-watering encounter with our fellow championship contenders, Portadown.

The message from within the camp is standard, its another game, another three points, nothing more, nothing less.

To the fans on both sides however it means much, much more, its one of the games marked out in the calendar once the fixtures were released in the summer – it’s one of the ‘must see’ games that brings with it a little extra attention and a little edge.

Let’s hope football is the winner. It won’t be easy going into the lion’s den, with the lion being wounded after last weekend’s reversal at PSNI, but I’m sure Tiernan and the backroom staff will have a plan which the team will work extremely hard to execute.

Be loud, be proud, stay safe and as always, remember, you are our 12th man, let the boys know you’re there.

Our own result last weekend against Knockbreda was pleasing. The score line maybe didn’t reflect the chances we created or the possession we had; three points and a clean sheet however were the order of the day, and as such the boys delivered. There will be plenty more opportunities this season to put the shooting boots on. Let’s wait and see…

It was with great disappointment that on Wednesday morning we were alerted to the issue surrounding our eligibility to host the Toals County Antrim Shield semi-final with Crusaders, this being all the more frustrating as a meeting at Inver Park the previous evening had not flagged this.

We had tickets printed, ready to go on sale and had plans in place for corporate hospitality packages in the Agnew Lounge. Listen, it is what it is, we take it on the chin and move on, rules are rules. This time they’ve gone against us but sometime you never know when they may work for us.

We will embrace the challenge all the same and I, for one, will be very proud to see the team walk out in a second senior semi final during my short tenure as Chairman. I’m sure the boys will give a good account of themselves and won’t let us down.

Off the pitch it has been a funny old week with lots of media coverage and speculation coming out following Kenny’s recent visit to Inver. On this I would like to clarify two points:

(1) The reason behind our run of clean sheets is in fact down to Conor Devlin and some stout defending from the guys in front of him, not a wall of Purple Bricks built within the parameter of the goals behind him and

(2) I can categorically confirm that ABBA playing on the pitch at Inver Park is a non-runner as part of the reported ‘Scandinavian’ influx to Larne. Sure, we’ve got Hammy, who needs Benny and Bjorn? I wonder what next week will bring…

Before concluding, it was lovely to receive an invite from the Mid and East Antrim Council for the players to perform the Christmas lights switch on in the town next Friday night. It’s a great privilege for us to be involved in this and from the board, through to Tiernan and the players it is an event we are looking forward to. As I’ve said before, seeing smiling faces stream out of Inver Park on a Saturday makes this job all the more rewarding. Seeing the positive affect we are having on the town and the community next Friday night will no doubt further strengthen our resolve to deliver on the goals we have set ourselves. Together we can do this.

Finally, it is with great sadness that I pass on my condolences to our esteemed board member Ian Cahoon and his family on the passing of his mother Valerie. On this remembrance weekend particularly, our thoughts and prayers are with Ian at this difficult time.

 

Regards

Gareth

#RAWA

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