TOMORROW, we welcome Portadown Football Club to Inver Park for the penultimate home game in what has been a momentous season in the history of our club.
On the final whistle we will be presented with the Bluefin Sport Championship trophy, the first silverware to grace Inver Park since the Ulster Cup in 1987, some 32 years ago.
The boys of 1987 are remembered in folklore around the club and from tomorrow the class of 2019 will join this elite group who enjoy iconic status, I think everyone would agree with me that they are richly deserving.
Special names, special players, special memories; for Huston read Tilney, for Bustard read Sule, for Sloan read McDaid and so on. Massive respect boys.
Before the celebrations begin, we have a game of football to play, the boys know they blotted their copy book against Carrick Rangers and they are keen to address this. We don’t want an ‘after the Lord Mayors show’ scenario, they are keen to put on a display, win the game and have the terraces bouncing in advance of the 5.07pm presentation.
Let’s get behind the boys from the off, bring plenty of colour and bring the noise. Tomorrow is your day, it’s the towns day, let’s make it special. Our friends from the Music Yard are playing in the car park from 1.30pm to get you into that party mood, the club shop will be selling our ‘Champions Merchandise’ to help you add colour, and the bar will be open serving refreshments to help you bring the noise!
I urge you to get to the ground early, bring one extra person with you and let them see what Inver Park in 2019 is all about, hopefully it whets their appetite and they’ll be back following us next season and beyond. That’s your end of the bargain, keep raising the bar.
We have Pat Jennings with us today (Friday) in his role as McDonald’s football ambassador for Northern Ireland. Pat is here following up on his visit last year when our pitch had just been dug up, to see the progress we have made both in terms of infrastructure and in our work at grassroots level.
We also have Sky Sports News joining us over the weekend, BBC going out live and we have Tranmere Rovers here filming, to follow the Jeff Hughes coming home and winning the league story. Exciting times to say the least, make sure you are here to be part of this piece of Larne Football Club history.
Before concluding, can I ask that everyone respects the tannoy announcements tomorrow to refrain from encroaching the playing area upon the final whistle. NIFL have made it clear that the trophy presentation will not be made if this happens, both the pitch and dressing room areas are strictly sterile areas and this must be adhered to. There will be plenty of photo opportunities with the trophy over the coming weeks and months, none more so than at the Welders game, when we will facilitate these opportunities. Thanks in advance for your support with this.
All that remains is for me is to thank our match sponsor, The Prom Cafe, our match ball sponsor Mark Wilson (Wilsons Catering), The Curran Court Hotel for our pre-match nutrition, Graham’s Pizza for our post-match and Classic Drinks for sponsoring the man of the match bubbly. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.
Let’s make Inver LOUD and PROUD!