TONIGHT we welcome Harland & Wolff Welders to Inver Park for an earlier than normal 6.30pm kick off.
The Welders arrive at Inver for the first under the guidance of popular former Larne coach Norman Kelly. Norman is both a great coach and a top-class person to boot, I personally wish him every success for the season ahead and in his management career moving forward, but only after tonight of course…!
At this point it would be remiss of me not to pass on the best wishes of Larne Football Club to Dan McMurray as he embarks on the road to recovery following a horrific injury sustained in the Bet McLean League Cup tie with Portstewart. I was glad to read during the week that Dan had successfully gone through surgery, lets hope now that he makes a full and speedy recovery. Get back kicking soon Dan.
Last Saturday we ground out a 2-1 win against a resolute PSNI outfit. We didn’t really settle down and start playing our football until Marty Donnelly tucked away a penalty shortly after the break, this seemed to calm the nerves a bit and our play then became a lot more fluent, as was typified by the build up to Ben Tinley’s second. We really should have been home and hosed at this point but a wonder strike from distance brought PSNI back into the game, this coupled with an extended period of injury time led to a very uncomfortable closing few minutes, but we got the job done.
Before moving on from last Saturday, it has been brought to our attention that distasteful comments were made by an individual supporting Larne as the teams left the pitch at full time. Behaviour like this is not what we want, it is not to be condoned and will not be tolerated. If the perpetrator is found, I can assure you they will face sanction from the club. We are trying to build a reputation both on and off the field and we need everyone pulling together. Let’s keep it clean please.
I would like to congratulate Marty Donnelly on winning NI Football Writers Championship Player of the Month, an award that is richly deserved and one that I feel he could be in the running for consistently as the season progresses. The ‘White Pele’ has been a breath of fresh air around the club since he joined and it is great to see his performances being recognised outside of Inver Park.
On deadline day, we added two new faces to the panel in Fuad Sule and Benny Igiehon. Both come with decent pedigree, Fuad comes into contention tonight but unfortunately not so for Benny. Welcome to Larne guys, hopefully you enjoy your spell at the club.
You will notice tonight a ‘players wrap’ in the Fan Zone, that has really brightened the area up, this coupled with the progress made on the floodlights are constant reminders that we continue to move forward on our journey to deliver a first-class sporting facility for the people of Larne.
Commissioning the floodlights and completing work on the VIP lounge are our next priorities and we hope to have these completed in advance of our next home fixture.
Before concluding, can I extend a warm Inver Park welcome to Edwin and Gina Haveron, who recently lost their football mad young son Samuel. Tonight, Larne Youth and Wellington Rec 2007’s will lead out the teams and together we will stand for a minute’s applause to honour Samuels memory. Let’s make it a memorable one folks…
Finally, can I thank The Curran Court Hotel for their continued sponsorship of our pre-match preparations, our match sponsor Red Groomswear, Belfast, our match ball sponsors Spar, Linn Road & Spar, Ballygalley and our Man of the Match sponsor, Classic Drinks in conjunction with Vallformosa. Your support is greatly appreciated.
See you at the church end…